Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday dismissed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government on India-China tensions, saying his party and he had “no right” to point fingers on the issue.
In an interview to editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi, Shah said the Congress leader “keeps making baseless statements”. “Rahul Gandhi never has any data to back his claims. He keeps making baseless statements. But the Congress has no right to make these statements,” Shah said.
Rahul Gandhi had recently accused the Narendra Modi government of “weakening the country”, claiming that China had “dared to enter India and kill our soldiers”, reference to the June clashes at the border in eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian troops were killed.
Further targeting the government over the nearly five-month-long military standoff in eastern Ladakh, Gandhi had said that had UPA been in power, “we would have evicted and thrown out China and it would not have taken 15 minutes to do so”.
Making light of Gandhi’s statement, Amit Shah said the Congress leader should first give an account to the nation on how much territory his party ceded to China when it was in power. “I am talking about 1962 when his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru was the PM,” Shah said.
In the exclusive interview, the Union home minister also said that the Indian army is always battle-ready, says after Chinese president Xi Jinping told PLA troops to be prepared for war.
“Every nation is always ready (for war). That’s the purpose of maintaining armies – to respond to any form of aggression. I am not saying this in reference to any particular comments, but India’s defence forces are always ready,” he said.
Shah, however, added that militaries of both countries are talking to each other and the diplomatic channels of communication are also open. “I don’t find it pertinent to comment as the country’s home minister. But I will repeat the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are on guard and no one can snatch even an inch of our territory from us,” he said.