Shah said that Indian Army was always prepared for any eventuality. The Home Minister’s remarks came just days after Chinese President, XI Jinping warned PLA troops to be prepared for war amid ongoing tensions at the border
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 17 said the Indian Army was always prepared for any eventuality in the wake of the face-off with China at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. The home minister’s remarks came days after Chinese President XI Jinping warned PLA troops to be prepared for war amid ongoing tensions on the border.
In an exclusive interview to Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, Shah spoke on a wide array of issues from India-China face-off to the BJP’s relations with its former ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in Bihar.
“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,” Shah said while stressing that India will never cede “even an inch” of territory to China even as the diplomatic channels of communication were open between the two nations.
“..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.
Shah dismissed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the government on India-China face-off saying he had “no right” to point the finger at anyone on the issue.
“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.
The former Congress president has recently accused the Narendra Modi government of “weakening the country”, claiming that China had “dared to enter India and kill our soldiers”. He was referring to the June clashes on the border in eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian troops were killed.
Shah also touched upon a recent contentious letter written by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The home minister said Koshyari could have chosen his words better while questioning if Thackeray had turned secular.
“He had made a passing reference, but I also believe that he (Governor) could have avoided the selection of those particular words,” Shah said.
Koshyari wrote to Thackeray earlier this week calling him a "strong votary of Hindutva", wondering if the CM is "receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again'.
The home minister backed Yogi Adityanath on the UP chief minister’s decision to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the alleged rape and murder of a Dalit girl in Hathras in western Uttar Pradesh. He however said the case was mishandled at the police station level, instead.
"There is an SIT investigating the matter, some officials were also suspended and now the entire investigation is transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. But no one should politics over such issues,” Shah said, insisting there should be no politics over the heinous crime whether it happens in UP or Rajasthan.
On Bihar politics, Shah said Chirag Paswan-led LJP, contesting Bihar polls alone, pulled out of NDA despite being offered a reasonable number of seats during negotiations.
“As far as the coalition of BJP-JDU-BJP is concerned, the LJP was offered a reasonable number of seats time and again by both, the BJP and the JDU. There were also several negotiations held. I personally spoke to Chirag many times," he said. LJP has decided to contest Bihar elections alone by fielding candidates against Janata Dal (United) candidates. BJP is contesting Bihar elections with JD (U).
Shah also commented on the controversy around the death of Sushant Singh Rajput and the furore over Tanishq ad. He said the roots of social harmony in India are very strong. “There have been many such attacks on it. The British tried to break this harmony, later the Congress also tried the same,” Shah said in response to a question on the Tanishq ad controversy. An advertisement run by jewellery brand Tanishq earlier went viral -- it showed a Hindu woman married into a Muslim family and ready for her baby shower. Her in-laws are shown to have gone to great lengths to make their daughter-in-law feel comfortable -- by performing Hindu rituals.
On Sushant Singh's death, Shah said that it would not have become an issue had the case been handed over to CBI at the outset.“I don’t know how much the case has become a political issue on the ground. Even if it has become an issue, we are not the reason behind it. Had it been given to the CBI earlier, it wouldn’t have become an issue," he said.