Union minister Ajay Bhatt on Saturday attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his remarks flagging 'clear threats' from alleged Chinese incursions into Indian territory and said that his statement could "lower the morale" of the Indian Army.
"Though no one takes Rahul Gandhi seriously, his statement can lower the morale of the Army," Bhatt said, reacting to Rahul Gandhi's remark on the recent Tawang face-off with China in Arunachal Pradesh.
Gandhi, during a press conference in Rajasthan on Friday, had flagged a "clear threat from China" and claimed that the neighbouring country is "preparing for war" and alleged that the Centre is "hiding and not accepting it".
"There is a clear threat from China. The government is trying to hide it and ignore it. But that threat cannot be ignored or hidden. China is making offensive preparation on the side of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian government is in slumber. It doesn't want to hear it. China is preparing for war, not for an incursion. If you see the pattern of their weapons, they are preparing for war. Our government is hiding it and is not accepting it," Gandhi had said.
In a conversation with ANI, MoS Bhatt said that Rahul Gandhi has a habit of demoralising the Army by making loose comments whenever anything happens at the borders.
"Everybody remembers the statements of Rahul Gandhi and his party during the February 2019 Balakot airstrike and September 2016 surgical strike. Whenever it comes to the nation's security, they have to comment something and bring down the Army's morale," MoS Bhatt said adding that "our country functions on the principle of 'don't punish the innocent, don't spare the guilty' (nirdosh ko chhedo nahi, doshi ko chhodo nahi)".
"Nobody takes him seriously because he speaks without thinking and that is the only reason now the world has also started to ignore him," he added.
Further in the conversation, he termed the opposition "childish" for giving "irresponsible" statements.
The BJP today hit out at Rahul Gandhi for his remarks and said that the Congress should immediately expel him from the party.
BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia addressing a press conference in New Delhi said, "Being an Indian, Bharatiya Janata Party is proud of the Indian Army, we are proud of our Army.
"The soldiers who are beating the Chinese army on the border, are showing their strength. Why is 'Jaichand' Rahul Gandhi doing the work of breaking the morale of our army?" he added.
BJP President JP Nadda also condemned Rahul Gandhi's remarks mentioning, "Rahul Gandhi's statement works to demoralise our Army; no matter how much it is condemned, it is less. The Indian Army is a symbol of bravery and valour. We know that the Communist Party of China had signed an MoU with the Congress party."
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