Not eyeing land in Pakistan, China, says Gadkari

Gadkari said India believed in peace and non-violence and do not want to be strong by becoming an expansionist

Ahmedabad: India is not interested in land of Pakistan or China but wanted peace and amity, Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said on Sunday.

Addressing virtual 'Jan Samvad' rally of Gujarat BJP from Nagpur in Maharashtra, he said India believed in peace and non-violence and do not want to be strong by becoming an expansionist.

"India never tried to grab land of its neighbours like Bhutan and Bangladesh," he added.

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSME also said that COVID-19 crisis will not last long, as a vaccine is on its way soon.

"India do not want land that rightfully belongs to Pakistan or China. All India want is peace, amity, love, and (want) to work together (with neighbouring countries)," Gadkari said.

His comments came at a time when India and China are engaged in a stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

Talking about the completion of one year of the second term of the Modi government, Gadkari said its biggest achievement was to bring peace in the country by dealing with matters of internal and external security.

"...Whether it is about almost winning over the Maoist problem or securing the country from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism...There is China on the one side of our border and Pakistan on the other side. We want peace, not violence," he said.

"The strong steps taken by our government against terrorism and naxalism; giving importance to internal and external security has made peace possible in the country," Gadkari said.

During his speech, the Nagpur MP referred to famous novel "Mrityunjaya" by Marathi novelist Shivaji Sawant, saying peace and non-violence can be established by only those who are strong and not weak.

"We should not make India strong by becoming expansionist. We want to make India strong for establishing peace. We never tried to grab land of Bhutan. Our country made Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the prime minister of Bangladesh after winning the war (with Pakistan in 1971), and our soldiers returned thereafter.

"We did not take a single inch of land. We do not want land either of Pakistan or China. All we want is peace, amity, love, and wanted to work together," he said.

Gadkari also said the coronavirus crisis will not last long as scientists in India and abroad have been working to develop a vaccine.

"This crisis is not going to last long. Effort is on in our country to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. Scientists across the world are working in this direction.

As per the information received by me, I can say with confidence that very soon we will find vaccine. Once we develop a vaccine, we won't have to fear the crisis, Gadkari added.

"The crisis is deep, not just for our country but for the entire world. Our government under Modiji is standing with the people. Let us leave aside negativity, and with self confidence, we will deal with the crisis and defeat the coronavirus," he said.

Referring to Emergency, Gadkari further said India has braved many crises, and so has the BJP since its formation.

He said, "(From Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi to successive Congress governments) the Congress gave the slogan of 'garibi hatao ', but the condition of the common man, farmers and the poor did not improve".

On the other hand, poverty of Congress party leaders, workers, and flatterers ended, he said.

Gadkari also referred to annulment of Article 370 and the "sacrifice" made by Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee.

"We brought terrorism exported by Pakistan under control by repulsing terrorists, but the Congress lacked courage and did not give importance to the crisis," he said.

Gadkari said the NDA government was guided by the concept of "Antyodaya" of Deendayal Upadhyay.

"We reached out to the poorest of the poor by opening 35 crore 'Jana Dhan' accounts. We provided LPG cylinders to 9 crore families, and constructed two crore houses under the 'Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana', he said.

He also listed promotion of bee-keeping, khadi industry, e-rickshaws, cleaning of the Ganga river as major achievements of the government in the last six years.

"The Road Transport and Highways ministry is working to develop Jammu and Kashmir by constructing roads, tunnels, and encouraging local crafts for the economic development," he added.

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