Uttar Pradesh politician Mayawati is the latest opposition leader to file away her animosity against the ruling BJP and come out in its support on the China tension. In a statement today, she also urged the BJP "to learn from the Congress" and not repeat its mistakes.
Not long after, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra responded by repeating her charge of "undeclared BJP spokespersons" in the opposition.
"Bahujan Samaj Party stands with BJP on the India-China border issue. Politics being done by BJP and Congress by levelling accusations at each other over India-China border issue is not in the interest of the nation. It is a matter of great concern," said Mayawati, a former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
"China can take advantage of this situation. Other issues are being ignored and citizens of our country are losing because of such politics," she said.
"I want to tell BJP and Congress that BSP is not a toy for anyone. It's an independent party formed at the national level."
The BSP chief said her party was born out of the Congress's failure to do anything for neglected sections including backward castes and tribals. Mayawati also said if the Congress had helped migrants during its rule, they wouldn't have been forced to look for jobs in other states. "BJP should learn something from Congress and should not repeat what they did. They will have to work really hard to make India 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant), publicity isn't all," Mayawati said.
Priyanka Gandhi served an equally direct retort to the Congress ally-turned-critic. "As I had said, some opposition leaders have become undeclared spokespersons of the BJP, which is beyond my comprehension. There is no point standing with some political party at this time. Every Indian should stand with the country and the sovereignty of our nation. We need courage to fight a government that has lost parts of our territory," the Congress leader posted in Hindi.
Mayawati's searing attack underscored the isolation of the Congress and its top leader Rahul Gandhi on the crisis at the border with China, where 20 soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese troops on June 15. Rahul Gandhi has since tweeted questions and attacks directed at the government almost daily.
Priyanka Gandhi took up from where she left on Friday, when she had tweeted: "I am Indira Gandhi's granddaughter, not an undeclared BJP spokesperson like some of the opposition leaders."
Her comment was linked to the recent all-party meeting where most opposition leaders said they would stand by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on China. Congress president Sonia Gandhi virtually emerged as the lone voice raising tough questions including the status of Chinese intrusions and whether there had been any intelligence lapse.
Significant among the opposition leaders expressing support for the government was NCP leader Sharad Pawar, a Congress ally in Maharashtra.
"We cannot forget what happened in 1962 when China occupied 45,000 sq km of our territory. At present, I do not know if they occupied any land, but while discussing this we need to remember the past. National security matters shouldn't be politicised," Mr Pawar said on Sunday, referring to the India-China war during Congress icon Jawaharlal Nehru's rule in a fairly blunt message for Rahul Gandhi.