New Delhi: With India abstaining on a United Nations resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday asserted that the move goes against everything the country has stood for, remarks that drew a sharp response from the BJP which stressed that India will never be on the side of terrorism.
India on Friday abstained from voting in the UN General Assembly on a Jordan-drafted resolution titled 'protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations' that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict and unhindered humanitarian access in the Gaza strip.
The 193-member General Assembly adopted the resolution that called for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.
In a post on X, Priyanka Gandhi quoted Mahatma Gandhi's "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" to drive home her point.
"I am shocked and ashamed that our country has abstained from voting for a ceasefire in Gaza," Priyanka Gandhi said.
"Our country was founded on the principles of non-violence and truth, principles for which our freedom fighters laid down their lives, these principles form the basis of the constitution that defines our nationhood," she said. They represent the moral courage of India that guided its actions as a member of the international community, she added.
"To refuse to take a stand and watch in silence as every law of humanity is pulverized, food, water, medical supplies, communication and power is cut off to millions of people and thousands of men, women and children in Palestine are being annihilated goes against everything our country has stood for throughout its life as a nation," Priyanka Gandhi said.
Reacting to Priyanka Gandhi's response, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said those who are “ashamed and shocked” must realise that India will never be on the side of terrorism.
"India's Explanation of Vote – spelt this out categorically. Our position on the Israel – Palestine issue is steadfast and consistent. Those who choose to side with terror do so at their own peril...," the former minority affairs minister said on X.
"On a lighter note, Priyanka Ji, you should first educate yourself on things that are put out from your X account. Looks like people, who have no idea of Congress's past positions on the situation, are advising you," he said.
"What is worse is that in an attempt to make you look 'better' than Rahul, they are making you look silly," Naqvi added.
The CPI(M) and the CPI said in a joint statement that India abstaining from voting on a United Nations resolution calling for a truce in Gaza is "shocking" and shows that Indian foreign policy is now shaped by "being a subordinate ally of US imperialism".
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI General Secretary D Raja said in the statement -- titled 'Stop this Genocidal Aggression in Gaza' -- that India's move negates its long-standing support to the Palestinian cause.
India has said terrorism is a "malignancy" and knows no borders, nationality or race and the world should not buy into any justification of terror acts, as it abstained on a resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict. The resolution, which garnered 121 votes in favour, 44 abstentions and 14 member states voting against it, also demanded the immediate, continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to civilians throughout the Gaza Strip.
According to media reports, the rising death toll in Gaza is unprecedented in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Thursday that more than 7,000 Palestinians have died in the conflict. Over 1,400 people were killed in the unprecedented attacks on Israel by Hamas on October 7. Hamas has held more than 220 people hostage in Gaza. Israel then launched retaliatory strikes which left a trail of death and destruction.