External Affairs Minister S Jayashankar has slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for calling Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers “arrogant”. Jayashankar on Saturday hit back at Gandhi, saying Indian foreign service officers were confident. Speaking at an event in London, Gandhi noted that a number of European bureaucrats had complained to him that IFS officers had “completely changed” because they had become “arrogant”.
“They are arrogant and do not listen to anything. Now they are just telling us what orders they are getting, ”said Gandhi.
While acknowledging the fact that IFS has indeed changed, Jayashankar said that IFS officers have become more courageous and “confident” because they are “counter to the arguments” made by other countries.
“Yes, the Indian foreign service has changed. Yes, they obey the government. Yes, they counter the argument of others. No, don’t call it arrogance. This is called confidence. And it’s called protecting the national interest, “Jayashankar tweeted.
Defending Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said IFS officers were acting as the voice of the ruling party rather than the country. He wrote in his social media handle, “Yes, it is also called subordination of political masters in the face of foreign policy bloppers. Yes, we are told not to stand up to China in the face of illegal occupation of our territory. Yes, it is called advancing the party agenda over the nation. “
Former Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has also come out in support of Gandhi. He took to his social media handle and said: Surely the national interest was paramount in his time at IFS? The ability to listen is confidence, not otherwise. What did the government say, do not listen?
Speaking on the same occasion, Rahul Gandhi taunted the Narendra Modi government of the country that the BJP was crushing dissent in the country, while the Congress was keen to hear and welcome all ideas.