Rajnath Singh slams China's attempt to rename 30 places in Arunachal, terms the state's people 'strategic assets'

Rajnath Singh slams China's attempt to rename 30 places in Arunachal, terms the state's people 'strategic assets'

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Namsai (Arunachal Pradesh), April 9 (IANS) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday criticised China's attempts to rename 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh, saying "renaming any places of our territory by any other country has no significance" while terming the people of the easternmost frontier state of the country 'strategic assets'.

Addressing an election rally at Namsai in Arunachal East parliamentary constituency, the Defence Minister wondered "if India renames a place in China does it mean that place comes under India?"

"Such an attempt (renaming of places) will only harm the relationship between the two countries," Rajnath Singh said, and quoted late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had said that friends can be changed but not neighbours.

The Defence Minister also said if someone tries to harm India's respect, integrity and dignity, then India has the capability to respond to it befittingly.

Last month, China in one of its portals renamed 30 places in Arunachal Pradesh drawing a strong condemnation from India.

The Defence Minister said that India is always keen to maintain good and friendly relations with all its neighbours.

"But brothers and sisters, I can tell you very firmly that if anyone tries to harm India's honour, dignity and self-respect, India has the full ability to respond to it with the same manner," Rajnath Singh said while addressing the rally.

Describing the people of Arunachal Pradesh as nationalist, he lauded the state and its people as "strategic assets" and said that whenever there was a conflict with China, the country can never forget the great role of the people of the state.

The Defence Minister also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first PM in India who gave the highest priority to the development of the northeastern region.

"Nobody can question the credibility of the BJP government and PM Modi. Due to PM Modi, the credibility of the BJP has increased not only in India but all over the world. Whenever our government and party promised anything, we have always fulfilled it. Be it the issue of Article 370, Ram Mandir, CAA or Triple Talaq, we fulfilled all," he said.

"Every child in India knows what PM Modi has done for the Indians during his ten-year rule as Prime Minister. Earlier, international fora did not give so much importance to India. After PM Modi came to power, all international fora have been giving importance to India," the Defence Minister said.

Appreciating Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the Defence Minister said that he is one of the successful Chief Ministers in the country.

PM Modi during his 10 years of governance removed the poverty of 25 crore people in India, Rajnath Singh said.

BJP candidate for the Arunachal East seat, Tapir Gao, and state's Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein among others were also present at the election rally at Namsai.

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