In an apparent dig at the previous Congress governments, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday said the "pro-China elements", who had surrendered Aksai Chin in the Ladakh region to China, are questioning the BJP government, while asserting that no one could bully the country as long as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading it.
Speaking at a "virtual rally" for the people of West Bengal, the Union minister of petroleum and natural gas said the "pro-China elements within India, who do not have faith in the country's armed forces and external affairs minister, are taking advice from the Chinese ambassador".
"We have forgotten those who had shouted pro-China slogans during the war in the sixties (1962). These pro-China elements are still there in the country, who do not have faith in the Indian armed forces and external affairs minister. They are taking advice from the Chinese ambassador," he said.
"Those, whose ancestors had gifted China the Aksai Chin region by saying it was a barren land, are now questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Our PM has given full freedom to the armed forces. Now nobody can bully India. The times have changed. As long as we have Prime Minister Modi, we are safe and secure. A recent survey has indicated that over 73 per cent people in the country have faith in the prime minister when it comes to national security," Pradhan said.
His comments come a day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief J P Nadda alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) had accepted USD 300,000 from China and the Chinese embassy in 2005-06 for conducting studies that were not in the national interest.
The Congress, however, dismissed the allegation as an attempt to divert the country's attention from issues of national security.
Speaking on the prevailing political situation in West Bengal, Pradhan said the people of the state would give a befitting reply to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for "pursuing the politics of vendetta" and send her on a "long quarantine after the 2021 Assembly polls".
"My party colleagues told me how our public representatives are not being allowed to step out of their homes in Bengal and have been kept in quarantine. I want to tell the TMC and Mamatadi that the people of the state would give a befitting reply to their politics of vendetta and violence and send Mamatadi on a long quarantine after the 2021 Assembly polls," he said.
Terming the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the state a complete failure, the BJP leader said the people of Bengal should give a chance to the saffron party to take the state to new heights.
"A change is needed to take Bengal forward. The change will take place in the state in 2021," he said.
Pradhan, a senior BJP leader from neighbouring Odisha, alleged that TMC workers have unleashed a reign of terror in the state among the workers of the saffron party for indulging in any kind of democratic opposition movement.
He assailed the West Bengal government for not joining several central schemes meant for the poor.
On Bengal's "unwillingness" on bringing back migrant labourers, Pradhan said it was the only state that was not willing to take back its workers.
"The migrant labourers would never forgive you Mamatadi for the treatment you have meted out to them," he said.
The issue of bringing migrant workers back to Bengal has snowballed into a major political row over the last few weeks with the BJP and the Centre alleging that the state government is not keen to take them back. The TMC dispensation in the state has rebuffed the claim.