China preparing for war, but Centre is asleep: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi was addressing a press conference on the completion of 100 days of his Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Updated - December 17, 2022 11:44 am IST

Published - December 16, 2022 09:11 pm IST - JAIPUR

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference as Bharat Jodo Yatra completes 100 days, at the PCC office in Jaipur on December 16, 2022.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference as Bharat Jodo Yatra completes 100 days, at the PCC office in Jaipur on December 16, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Days after a clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said China is preparing for war but the Indian government is “deep in slumber” without realising the gravity of the situation. China’s preparations were not just for incursions, but for a full-scale war, Mr. Gandhi said.

Addressing a press conference here on the completion of 100 days of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Mr. Gandhi said while the threat from China was very clear, which he had been pointing out for quite some time, the government was trying to conceal and ignore it. He said China, which occupied 2,000 sq. km of Indian territory and killed 20 Indian soldiers in Galwan in 2020, was now thrashing the jawans in Arunachal Pradesh.

“If you look at China’s weapon pattern, it is clear that they are preparing for a full [military] offensive. In contrast, our government is asleep and is not able to accept it,” Mr. Gandhi said. He alleged that the BJP government was working on events rather than dealing with the matter strategically.

The Wayanad MP said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar should expand his understanding about China rather than giving out statements. “In the geo-strategy, it is the strength that works,” he remarked.

‘No leadership issue’

With Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot by his side, Mr. Gandhi said there was no indecision on the leadership issue in the State and added that the discussions among the party leaders and workers were a sign of “democratic structure” within the party. “We enjoy the support of common people and we will fight the [Assembly] election on the back of party workers at the grassroots,” he said.

Editorial |Warning sign: On a fresh India-China faceoff

Mr. Gandhi affirmed that factionalism would not affect the ruling Congress’ prospects in the 2023 State Assembly election. However, he said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge would take a decision on who will lead the party in the Assembly poll.

The Congress leader said his yatra had received an overwhelming response in the State, where it would spend about 20 days. The Congress could sweep the Assembly election if the party workers were effectively utilised, as the people were very satisfied with the State government’s schemes for social security, health care and employment, he said..

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