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. Singh was speaking at an event at the home of BJP MLA Sanjay Yadav, who later released the video.
"Like the decisions on Ram Mandir and Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided when there would be war with Pakistan and China," he is heard saying in a video clip on social media. "Sambandhit tithi tai hai," Swatantra Dev Singh said in Hindi, claiming that a decision has been taken even on the date.
His remarks on Friday came amid tension at the Line of Actual Control between India and China, where the two countries have massed troops over recent months. The UP Bharatiya Janata Party leader linked his war-with-China claim to the beginning of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya following a Supreme Court judgment, and the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor reacted Sunday by taking a dig at the prime minister for "planning a war" against an enemy which he said Modi has refused even to name.
When asked about the remarks, local BJP MP Ravindra Kushwaha said the leader made them to boost the morale of party workers. But the reported comment appears to deviate from India's stated stand.
On Sunday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that India wanted an end to the border tension with China while asserting that it will not allow "even an inch" of land to be taken away by anyone.