Congress minister hits back at Sharad Pawar over comments about 1962 warUpdated: Jul 01, 2020 00:14 IST
Congress leader and energy minister in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government, Nitin Raut, has reignited the political controversy around Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s statement reminding the Congress of the 1962 war with China while advising against politicising issues concerning national security.
On Saturday, Pawar had said, “We can’t forget what had happened in 1962 when China occupied 45,000 square kilometres of India’s territory. While making these allegations, one should also look at what had happened in the past. This is an issue of national interest and once should not bring in politics here.”
Pawar’s comments came in response to a question about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had surrendered Indian territory to the Chinese aggression. The Congress party, led by its former president, has been taking jibes at the Centre since the June 15 violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
Raut hit back at Pawar, saying the latter should have “rectified the mistakes [done in 1962] when he was defence minister”. “Our leader Rahul Gandhiji has been speaking in the interest of the nation and asking the questions that are in the minds of people. Pawarsaheb was a Congress leader when he was defence minister of the country. As a political leader, he has been nurtured in Congress. NCP is part of the UPA-led by Congress and should not deviate from the stand taken by the alliance. He should support the stand taken by Rahul Gandhi,” Raut said.
Raut said Pawar should have advised Modi to speak on the issue. “The situation in 1962 was different. After Krishna Menon resigned as defence minister, Yashwantrao Chavan took over as the defence minister. Pawar should also speak about the 1971 war against Pakistan and the victory under the leadership of Indira Gandhi and YB Chavan, who Pawarsaheb looks up to as a mentor,” said Raut.