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Congress asks govt. to clarify on ‘fresh Chinese incursions’

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday asked the Union government to “clarify” on the claims made by a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Ladakh that Chinese troops have further transgressed into Indian territory, and that Indian soldiers were living in ordinary tents under freezing conditions.

On Thursday, Thupstan Chhewang, the former Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh, had told The Hindu that he had been informed by “local people” that Chinese troops had occupied positions in Finger 2 and 3 of north bank of Pangong Tso, and that Indian soldiers were living in tents that were not adequate for them in the sub-zero conditions.

Tagging the news report, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi reacted by tweeting,“The soldiers of the country, despite living in ordinary tents in severe cold, stand up to the attack of China. While the Prime Minister of the country moves around an Rs 8400 crore aircraft, he is afraid even to take the name of China. Who got acche din (good days)?”

Mr. Chowdhury, who heads the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament, said the claims made by the former BJP MP on fresh transgressions, as well as on soldiers living in harsh conditions in ordinary tents, were very “worrying”.

“The PAC wanted to visit Leh-Ladakh to assess the situation on the ground as it is examining various reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that have pointed out the shortage of protective equipment for soldiers, clothing and sun goggles,” Mr. Chowdhury told The Hindu in response to Mr Chhewang’s claims.

“Even during the visit of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, there were reports of getting supplies for our soldiers [stationed] in high altitudes. It is a very serious matter and the PAC wanted to visit Ladakh to draw the attention of the government and not to put it in the dock. The Department of Military Affairs agreed for such a visit but the Ministry of Defence advised against it,” he added.

Commenting on the former legislator’s remarks on fresh incursions by the Chinese, the Congress leader said,“Reports of Chinese troops occupying of Finger 2 and 3 of the north bank of Pangong Tso are very worrying. And they are not made by anyone in the Opposition or the Congress but a former MP of the BJP. The government must come clean on it and clarify the situation.”

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 3:52:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-asks-govt-to-clarify-on-fresh-chinese-incursions/article32985242.ece

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