In an interview to news agency ANI, Shah took exception to Rahul’s “Surender Modi” dig at the PM on Twitter and said the government was prepared for a no holds-barred debate in Parliament on all that had happened with China since the 1962 war. “1962 se aaj tak do-do haath ho jaye (let us discuss from 1962 war onwards till now, we are ready for a robust debate),” he said.
Responding to a question on Rahul’s relentless attacks on the government over China’s attempt to alter the LAC and his jibes “getting traction in China and Pakistan”, Shah said it was painful to see the leader of a big political party resorting to “petty politics at a time of crisis”.
“Yes, we are fully capable of handling anti-India propaganda but it does pain when a former president of such a big political party does ‘ochhi rajniti’ (shallow-minded politics) at a time of problems. It is a matter of self-introspection for him and Congress that his hashtag is being taken forward by Pakistan and China. It is not for me. It is a matter of concern for Congress that the hashtag of their leader is being encouraged by Pakistan and China. You say what China and Pakistan like. And at this time of crisis,” Shah said.
Sidestepping a pointed question asked by ANI if there were Chinese troops on Indian soil at present, Shah said it was not the appropriate time to comment on the situation on the LAC. He said briefings were ongoing and if the need arose, he would answer.
Shah, however, responded to questions about Rahul’s tweets, saying the government would respond to challenges. “Parliament honi hai, charcha karni hai to aaiye, karenge. 1962 se aaj tak do-do haath ho jaye. Koi nahi darta charcha se. Jab jawan sangharsh kar rahe hain, sarkar thos kadam utha rahi hai, uss waqt Pakistan aur China ko khushi ho aisi statements nahi deni chahiye (There will be Parliament (session). If you want to discuss, we will. Let all be discussed, from 1962 to today. No one is afraid of discussion. But when the soldiers are making efforts, the government is taking solid steps… at that time, making statements that please Pakistan and China, this should not be done),” he said.
Asked about Congress accusing BJP of lack of democracy after its attack on the party on Emergency, Shah said it did not behove Congress to speak of democracy.
“I did not do any politics during Covid-19. You look at my tweets of the past 10 years. Every June 25, I give a statement. Emergency should be remembered by people as it attacked the roots of our democracy. People should never forget. No political worker, citizen should forget. There should be awareness about it. It is not about a party but about the attack that took place on the country’s democracy. The language and form changes according to the context,” he said.
Watch Amit Shah challenges Rahul Gandhi for debate on China policy