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Take nation into confidence on ‘transgression’ by China, Congress tells PM Modi

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. File

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. File   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned the “silence” of the government on the “brazen Chinese transgression” into Indian territory

The Congress on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to take the nation and political parties into confidence on reports of “serious transgression” by Chinese troops in Ladakh and Sikkim, as it was a matter of “territorial integrity.”

Also read: Trump offers to ‘mediate or arbitrate’ between India and China

“This is not a matter of blame game. It is a matter of ensuring absolute, complete and total protection of national and India’s territorial integrity and there can be no compromise there,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters at an online press conference. “It’s time the government, that is the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, took the nation as also the political parties into confidence.”

Mr. Surjewala said that information available in the public domain as well as assessment by security experts, including former Northern Army commander Lt. General (Retd) D.S. Hooda, was that Chinese forces may have made incursions at three points in Ladakh and Sikkim.

Also read: Top Army commanders begin deliberations on security challenges facing India

Several questions

The transgressions were reportedly in Galwan River Valley and Pangong Tso Lake Area in Ladakh, the Congress leader said.

“Security experts and Army veterans are seeing the Chinese transgressions into the Galwan River Valley as an attempt to threaten the Darbuk-Shyok-DBO Road which is vital to servicing Indian troops in Sub-Sector North and close to the Karakoram pass,” Mr. Surjewala said.

Posing a series of questions, the Congress said the government should inform citizens of the actual situation on the border and the steps it had taken to protect India’s territorial integrity.

Also read: What explains the India-China border flare-up?

“Have Chinese troops occupied Indian Territory in the Galwan River Valley and Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh? Have they pitched hundreds of tents, constructed concrete structures and built a few kilometres of road along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Galwan River Valley and on the north bank of Pangong Tso Lake? Is it correct that Chinese troops have occupied the Finger Heights near Pangong Tso Lake?” asked the Congress spokesperson.

A few days ago, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi too had asked the government to “come clean on the border issue as it had fuelled unnecessary speculation.”

Nepal issue

The party, however, refrained from commenting on the issue of Nepal redrawing its official map to include areas that were right now a part of the Indian territory. “It is worrisome. We have taken note of it. Our senior leaders are studying it and we will soon come out with a statement,” Mr Surjewala said.

Also read: News Analysis | Behind new incidents, a changed dynamic along India-China border

On the latest set of relief measures taken by the Union Cabinet, including hiked MSP for farmers, though the Congress said it would hold a separate briefing, senior leader Ahmed Patel slammed the government.

“Unfortunately, all hopes of farmers expecting much needed respite [were] dashed today by the government. Farmers are facing unprecedented crises of Lockdown, Locust Attack, Cyclone etc. Forget about Profit, this so-called raise in Kharif MSP won’t even cover their losses & debts,” Mr Patel tweeted.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:25:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-must-take-parties-country-into-confidence-over-situation-on-border-with-china-congress/article31723566.ece

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