By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2020-06-28 13:29:57
When reporters asked Sharad Pawar about Rahul Gandhi's constant criticism of the Prime Minister in handling the stand-off with China, he is reported to have said that Congress should first think about how the Chinese captured more than 45000 sq. kms of Indian territory in and after 1962 and continue to hold it. Pawar said "I am not aware whether China is occupying any of our area now, but it still continues to 45000 sq .kms of Indian land (perhaps referring to Aksai Chin). He went on to say that "those who are making allegations today should take into account what happened when they were in office".
There would have been nothing wrong with a senior political leader of the country making such a statement except that his party is running the government in Maharashtra in alliance with the Congress. Hence, his pointed criticism of Rahul Gandhi clearly shows that he is miffed that the Congress leader is politicizing the issue. Pawar knows the difference between criticizing the actions of the government and personal attacks on the Prime Minister. It is clear that he disapproves of the line Rahul Gandhi has adopted in going after Modi personally. Rahul had also been asked by the Congress old guard to refrain from personal attacks on Modi at the recent CWC meeting but it seems he has chosen to ignore their advice.
But these attacks and counter-attacks hold little meaning. What is really important is that India should remember history and the treacherous nature in which the Chinese behaved back in 1962 and act accordingly. The present government is aware of this and that is why it is insisting that the Chinese restore the status quo ante as it existed in April 2020. If the Chinese occupied Aksai Chin in 1962, India cannot let them occupy Galwan Valley now. Hence, being an old hand, Pawar should also remind the present government about the duplicity of the Chinese leadership while reminding Rahul Gandhi of the follies of 1962.