Bharatiya Janata Party’s Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh has stirred a controversy by claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already decided when India would go to war with China and Pakistan, PTI reported on Sunday.
In a video that is being widely circulated on social media, Singh claimed that just like Modi had a plan for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and for ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the prime minister has also decided when there will be a war with Pakistan and China.
“Sambandhit tithi tai hai [the date is fixed],” Singh said. “Kab kya hona hai sab teh hai....sab Modi ne teh karke sakha hai. [What has to happen when, Modi has planned everything].”
The BJP leader was speaking at an event at BJP MLA Sanjay Yadav’s residence on Friday. Yadav later released the video of his speech.
Singh also compared Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party workers with terrorists. However, BJP leaders defended Singh’s comments. MP Ravindra Kushwaha said that Singh said everything “to boost the morale of party workers”.
The Uttar Pradesh BJP leader’s statement came amid heightened military tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, with neither of the side willing to back down. Several rounds of talks have so far failed to break the impasse.
Experts have also warned against the possibility of a two-front war with China and Pakistan, as ties between New Delhi and Islamabad – a close ally of Beijing – continue to remain tense. They say a collaborative threat from both adversaries would overstretch India’s resources and pose a formidable challenge.
The BJP leaders remarks are also in sharp contrast to India’s repeated call for deterrence, disengagement and de-escalation of troops along the Line of Actual Control. On Sunday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India wants an end to the border tension with China. But at the same time, he asserted that Indian soldiers will never allow even an inch of the country to be taken away by anyone.
The border standoff
Military heads of the two countries have engaged in several rounds of talks over the last three months after 20 Indian and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in violent clashes in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on June 15.
On October 13, Beijing had said that it did not recognise Indian sovereignty over Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, claiming that India had illegally occupied Ladakh. In response, the Ministry of External Affairs said China has no locus standi to comment on the matter. The ministry said Ladakh as well as Arunachal Pradesh are integral parts of India and this has been conveyed to the Chinese side on many occasions.
On September 10, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. The two ministers agreed on a five-point plan to defuse tensions between the countries and said the current situation in the border areas of Ladakh was “not in the interest of either side”. They agreed, therefore, that the border troops of both sides should “continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions”.