After accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having ‘surrendered’ Indian territory to Chinese aggression, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday once again took a dig at the Prime Minister by tweeting that ‘Narendra Modi is actually Surender Modi’.
At an online press conference later, former Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal asked ‘why is the government denying brazen Chinese transgressions’ even as he asserted that the Indian armed forces would repel any Chinese misadventure.
On June 23, the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, will have a pre-scheduled meeting to discuss the India-China face-off, the spike in COVID-19 cases and the increase in the retail prices of diesel and petrol.
“Narendra Modi is actually Surender Modi,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted and tagged an opinion piece, published by the Japan Times, headlined, “India’s appeasement policy toward China unravels”. In another tweet in Hindi, Mr. Gandhi tagged a video clip of a news channel that reported how satellite images show Chinese build up in the disputed area of Finger 4 and Finger 8 next to the Pangong Tao lake.
On Saturday, Mr. Gandhi had taken on Mr. Modi over his remarks at the end of the all-party meeting on Friday that ‘neither is anyone inside India’s territory nor has anyone captured its posts’. Mr. Gandhi had tweeted: “PM has surrendered Indian territory to Chinese aggression. If the land was Chinese, Why were our soldiers killed? Where were they killed?”
A clarification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), however, claimed that attempts were being made to give a “mischievous interpretation” to Mr. Modi’s remarks and said his comments referred to the situation at the Line of Actual Control after Indian soldiers had foiled China’s intrusion.
Mr. Sibal also pointed to discrepancies in the government’s versions of the ground situation. “Despite the statement of security experts, Army Generals & Satellite Imagery depicting Chinese intrusion into Pangong Tso Lake upto nearly 8 kms, construction of over 60 permanent structures, including bunkers and boat pads & occupation up to Finger 4, why is the government denying brazen Chinese transgression?” he asked.
“Why is Prime Minister refuting the statement of Raksha Mantri on ‘Chinese presence in large numbers’ and External Affairs Minister’s statement that we seek to restore ‘status quo ante’? Didn’t the Army Chief clearly state that ‘disengagement’ is underway? If ‘no one has intruded into our territory’ and ‘no one is occupying our territory’, what was being erected by China or what status quo ante or disengagement were we seeking?” asked Mr. Sibal.
Calling the situation grave, former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar said, “Prudence demands a negotiated de-escalation of hostilities consistent with the securing of India’s strategic interests in the region. The supreme sacrifice of our valiant soldiers cannot be in vain.”