Foreign Minister says the billionaire activist is “old, rich, opinionated and dangerous”
India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and other officials have blasted billionaire philanthropist George Soros for suggesting that the scandal around the Adani Group, linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, might bring a “democratic revival” to the country.
Soros said during the Munich Security Conference on Thursday that fraud allegations against the multinational conglomerate, headed by the PM’s long-time associate Gautam Adani, would “significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government… I may be naive, but I expect a democratic revival in India.”
Those comments didn’t go unnoticed in New Delhi, with Jaishankar firing back on Saturday at the 92-year-old billionaire and leftist political activist. The foreign minister described Soros as “old, rich, opinionated and dangerous” because he’s willing to invest his money in “shaping narratives.”
“People like him think an election is good if the person they want to see wins and, if the election throws up a different outcome, then they will say it is a flawed democracy,” he added.
Jaishankar also recalled that Soros, who runs the Open Society Foundation and sponsors numerous NGOs around the globe, hasn’t always been correct in his forecasts. “Few years ago, he actually accused us of planning to strip millions of Muslims of their citizenship, which of course didn’t happen. It was a ridiculous suggestion,” the minister said.
The head of India’s Ministry for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, commented that the recent statement by the Hungarian-American investor was “not just an attempt to hurt India’s image; if you listen to him carefully, he talks of regime change.”
“India has always defeated foreign powers whenever it has been challenged and will continue to defeat them in the future, too,” Irani told the journalists at the headquarters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The country’s second-largest party, the Indian National Congress (INC), has also rejected attempts by Soros, who has often been called a “champion of globalism,” to meddle in India’s internal affairs.
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“Whether the ‘PM-linked Adani scam’ sparks a democratic revival in India depends entirely on the Congress, Opposition parties and our electoral process. It has nothing to do with George Soros,” INC general secretary Jairam Ramesh wrote on Twitter.
February 18, 2023 at 07:33PM