Amidst tension with China and Pakistan, Swatantra Dev Singh, a key state functionary of the ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India's largest state has said Indian Prime Minister Modi has already decided the dates for wars with China or Pakistan.
The statement by Singh, Chief of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh Unit, at an event in the city of Ballia comes amid border tension with China.
“It has been decided by Modiji, what has to happen, when - all are decided; when article 370 would end, when construction of Ram Mandir would begin, when there would be a war with Pakistan, when there would be a war with China, everything is decided,” Singh was heard saying in a video being circulated.
#Watch | "Like the decisions on Ram Mandir and Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when there will be war with Pakistan and China": UP BJP Chief Swatantra Dev Singh pic.twitter.com/aH72noLmhX— NDTV (@ndtv) October 25, 2020
After his widely-circulated speech had kicked up a row, Singh denied what has been reported in the media. He told the English daily, The Indian Express that “I just addressed the workers and I did not say anything on the lines as is reportedly being circulated. I would have to look into the context first.”
However, neither BJP nor any opposition party commented on the controversial statement made by Singh. But social media users expressed anguish at war-mongering by the national ruling party politician.
Don’t be shocked at these callous and absurd statements, YOU guys VOTED for THEM. https://t.co/IcfiipigAs— Karan Patel (@iamkaranRpatel) October 25, 2020
What an idiot!— RAVIKANTH S (@RavikanthS_) October 25, 2020
In a controversial remark, BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when the country would be at war with Pakistan and China.
"PM Has Decided When There Will Be
War With China, Pak": UP BJP Chief
This guy, Swatantra Dev Singh, must be the only person in the country to have a hotline with Modi! LoL. 😀😀😀— Ganesh 🇮🇳 (@nallaganesh) October 25, 2020
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on the other hand, said New Delhi wants to end the tension along the border with China, without ceding territory.
“At the moment, there is tension on the India-China border, but India wants that it should end; peace should be established. That is our aim. But sometimes there are some nefarious acts. I am completely convinced and I also believe that our Army’s soldiers in any situation will not allow an inch of India’s land to go go into anyone else’s hands,” at a function in Darjeeling, West Bengal on Sunday (25 October).
While the tension between India and China was over a territorial claim by Beijing in the Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh region, in Jammu and Kashmir, it was fighting Pakistan’s claim to the Kashmir region.
Nuclear-powered India and China share a 3,500-kilometre (2,175-mile) border, known as the LAC. It stretches from the Ladakh region in the north to the Indian state of Sikkim. In eastern Ladakh, it passes through a lake in the Pangong Tso area.
India controls the western portion of the 45-km long lake, while the rest (about 119-km) is under Chinese control. Most of the clashes between the two countries have taken place in the Galvan Valley, in Ladakh.
Kashmir is ruled in parts by India and Pakistan, but both the countries claim the entire region as their territory. They had also fought two wars over the region.
In August 2019, New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of its constitution, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and divided the state into two federally administered enclaves, which further angered Islamabad.