Prime Minister Narendra Modi has misled the country on China’s “encroachment” in Ladakh, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Tuesday after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in a statement in parliament, asserted that the South Asian country “does not recognise the current boundary (Line of Actual Control)” and had attempted to transgress it. “Don’t be afraid of taking China’s name,” Mr Gandhi wrote.
“It is clear from the Defence Minister’s statement that Modi ji has misled the country on China’s encroachment. Our country has always rallied behind the Indian Army and it will do so in the future. But Modi ji, when will you stand up to China? When will you take our land back? Don’t be afraid of taking China’s name,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Mr Gandhi has been attacking the Centre and PM Modi over their handling of the stand-off with China, which had transgressed along the LAC – the de factor border – in May.
The Congress leader’s attack today was in reference to a remark PM Modi had made at an all-party meeting in June, days after 20 Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in the line of duty in a clash with Chinese troops. “Neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured,” PM Modi had said.
Mr Gandhi, the former Congress chief, has often claimed that PM Modi is afraid of the Chinese.
Mr Singh, who met his Chinese counterpart in Moscow last week, gave details of the meeting in parliament on Tuesday. He said he made it clear that India wants to resolve this issue in a peaceful manner and “wants the Chinese side to work with us”. But “there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 sq km in the Union Territory of Ladakh, he said, adding the county is prepared for all contingencies.
He also added that China had made several attempts to transgress the LAC in other parts of the Western Sector in mid-May.
There have been several rounds of military-level and ministerial talks with China over the situation at the LAC. The only measure taken by the Chinese side to ease tension was its partial withdrawal from Galwan Valley, the site of the June clash, and some other areas.
Earlier this month, China tried to close in on Indian positions on the South Bank of Ladakh’s Pangong Lake and fired shots in the air. The Indian forces thwarted the attempt.