Mumbai, June 30: Congress leader from Maharashtra and State Energy Minister Nitin Raut on Tuesday slammed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for taking a swipe at Rahul Gandhi. According to news agency ANI, Nitin Raut said Sharad Pawar should have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak on India-China issue, rather than reacting to Rahul Gandhi's statements. 'China Occupied 45,000 Sq Km of Indian Land in 1962, Can't Forget': Sharad Pawar Snubs Rahul Gandhi, Backs Modi Govt on Border Row.
In an apparent dig at Rahul Gandhi, who has been targeting the Modi government over the India-China border skirmishes in Ladakh, Sharad Pawar recently said that matters of national security shouldn't be politicised. Pawar also said that one should remember that after the 1962 India-China war, 45,000 square km of Indian territory was occupied by the Chinese, and gave a clean chit to the Centre on the Galwan face-off. Questions Raised by Rahul Gandhi on Border Security is Not Politics: Balasaheb Thorat.
"When China captured our territory in 1962, the situation was different. Sharad Pawar should have rectified mistakes when he was Defence Minister under Congress's rule. Instead of commenting on Rahul Gandhi's remark, he should have advised the Prime Minister to speak on the issue," Raut said. The Congress and the NCP are part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
"Let's not forget what happened in 1962 when China occupied 45,000 square km of India's territory. While levelling such allegations, one must also consider what happened in the past," Pawar, the former Defence Minister, said. He was responding to questions about Gandhi's accusations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had surrendered Indian territory to China in the recent border skirmishes in Galwan Valley of Ladakh.
Giving a breather to the Centre, Pawar said it cannot be blamed for the developments in Galwan Valley since Indian soldiers tried to push back the Chinese soldiers when they tried to encroach on our territory. "If our army had not been alert, we would not have known about the Chinese actions... The scuffle means we were vigilant or we would have been caught unawares. To term it as a failure of the Defence Minister or anyone else is not correct, and it is unfair to make such allegations," said Pawar.