Mumbai: Apparently taken aback by ruling ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar's statements on Saturday asking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi not to politicise the India-China border skirmishes, the Maharashtra Congress, here on Sunday, termed the Maratha leader's statement as 'unclear'.
Adopting a diplomatic stance, state Congress chief and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said while not a single soldier lost his life on the India-China border in 45 years, our 20 soldiers were martyred at the Galwan Valley due to China's aggression.
"Even then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says no one intruded on our territory. Using his statement, China is calling our martyrs intruders. Just like the Congress, Pawar Saheb too must have been saddened by this. I am sure he is worried by the Chinese incursion too," said Thorat.
Claiming that "it's still not clear" what Pawar has said, the Congress said by using just one of his comments, the media should not draw conclusions or rush to give a clean chit to the Prime Minister and raise questions on Rajiv Gandhi's stand.
Thorat reiterated that the Congress was with the government on the China issue, but that didn't mean it would not raise questions of national interest.
"The questions raised by Gandhi on border security are not politics, but a responsibility given by the people and the questions that are on the public's minds. We can't compare the 1962 situation with what is happening today," Thorat said.
He said though the concerns raised by Gandhi pertained to the country's integrity, the Prime Minister didn't utter a single word regarding the Chinese aggression in his 'Mann Ki Baat' on Sunday.
"It's not the time to keep quiet. The BJP should not consider the Congress suggestions as politics. If it's about the country's integrity, Gandhi and the Congress will continue to ask questions," Thorat said.
The Congress statement came a day after Pawar virtually chided Gandhi for attempting to politicise an issue concerning national security and reminded how China occupied 45,000 sq km of the Indian territory in 1962.
The Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress are part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state, headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (IANS)