Further intensifying his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over India’s dwindling status in global democracy metrics, top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that former Iraq’s Dictator Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi also used to win elections.

“Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi used to have elections. They used to win them. It wasn’t like they weren’t voting but there was no institutional framework to protect that vote,” Rahul Gandhi said during an online interaction with Brown University professor Ashutosh Varshney.

“An election is not simply people going and pressing a button on a voting machine. An election is about institutions that make sure that the framework in the country is operating properly, an election is about the judiciary being fair and a debate taking place in parliament. So you need those things for a vote to count,” Rahul Gandhi added.

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After two foreign organisations criticised India on freedom and democracy, Rahul Gandhi said the “situation is much worse than they have imagined”.

Sweden’s V-Dem Institute’s democracy report has downgraded India from the “world’s largest democracy” to an “electoral autocracy”.

On the other hand, the US Government-funded NGO – Freedom House has downgraded the country’s status from ‘free’ to “partly free”.

However, Rahul Gandhi said that these foreign institutions have their view, but “frankly, we do not need a stamp from them”.

“I would add one thing. I would say they are much behind the curve. I think the situation is actually much worse than they imagined,” Rahul Gandhi added.

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