At a virtual rally in Gujarat, Nitin Gadkari said India wants peace, not violence.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said India is not interested expansionism, in land "either from Pakistan or China". The country only wants "peace and amity", he said at the BJP's virtual ''Jan Samvad'' rally in Gujarat, amid a face-off with China over its transgression in Ladakh.
Speaking of the work by the Narendra Modi government -- which recently completed the first year of its second term -- Mr Gadkari said its biggest achievement was bringing peace 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... We want peace, not violence," he said via video-conference from Nagpur, adding these are things that can be established only by the strong.
But that strength, he said, did not come from expansionism. "We should not make India strong by becoming expansionist. We want to make India strong for establishing peace," he was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
Citing examples, he said India has never tried to grab the land of Bhutan. Even after winning the 1971 war with Pakistan, India helped establish an independent government in Bangladesh.
"Our country made Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the prime minister of Bangladesh after winning the war, and our soldiers returned thereafter," he said.
"We took not 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.
Tensions between India and China escalated in May after skirmishes near eastern Ladakh's Pangong lake. The Union home ministry was also informed that the Chinese troops were patrolling the Pangong lake on motor boats. The army said Chinese helicopters were seen operating in the disputed region in Ladakh.
A disengagement process with the Chinese troops started since. The first round of talks between commanders at the local level was held on June 6 in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control. Yesterday, the army said the process is still on.