Ladakh face-off | Sonia Gandhi promises support to Army, government

Martyrdom of soldiers on border has shaken up the entire country’s inner conscience, Ms. Gandhi says.

June 17, 2020 06:06 pm | Updated 11:01 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi addresses on Indian Army face-off with Chinese troops at Galwan valley in Ladakh via video link.

Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi addresses on Indian Army face-off with Chinese troops at Galwan valley in Ladakh via video link.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell the nation how Chinese troops could ‘occupy’ Indian territory, why did India lose 20 brave martyrs and his government’s ‘thinking and strategy’ to resolve the dispute.

In a video message, Ms Gandhi said ‘the martyrdom of our soldiers on the Ladakh border has shaken up the entire country’s inner conscience’. She expressed her party’s solidarity with the armed forces and the government.

Ladakh face-off | India will protect every inch of its territory, says Narendra Modi

Earlier, in a video, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said “enough is enough” and asked why the Prime Minister was “silent and hiding”.

“Why is the PM silent? Why is he hiding? Enough is enough. We need to know what has happened. How dare China kill our soldiers? How dare they take our land?” he said in a tweet.

In the video message, he said, “Come forward Pradhan Mantri ji, the entire nation, all of us stand with you. The entire nation is with you. Come forward and tell the truth to the nation. Don’t get scared”.

Ms. Sonia Gandhi assured her party’s support to the government and urged the Prime Minister to inform the nation what really happened in Ladakh.

“For the past one and half months, Chinese troops have infiltrated into Indian territory in Ladakh. When there is so much outrage in the country over this, the Prime Minister should come forward and tell the truth to the nation,” she stated.

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“I would request the Prime Minister to assure the nation on the basis of truth and facts. How did the Chinese occupy our land and why did we lose 20 of our brave soldiers? What is the situation on the ground now? Are our soldiers in the captivity of the Chinese? How many of our soldiers have been injured? How much of our territory have been occupied by the Chinese and where all have they occupied?”

She also asked the government about “its thinking and strategy to deal with the challenge and resolve the situation”.

“We want to assure that in this time of crisis, the Congress party is fully behind our Army, their families and the government. I firmly believe that in these challenging times, the country will face the enemy as one,” she added.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a tweet, asked the Prime Minister to “stand up to China and not remain silent when our land, sovereignty is being threatened”.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the clash in Ladakh was the result of a “political failure”.

Ladakh face-off  |  Govt sources cite U.S. intelligence to claim China suffered 35 casualties

Opposition welcomes all-party meet

Several Opposition leaders, including former Law Minister Ahswani Kumar, CPI general Secretary D. Raja and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Danish Ali welcomed Mr. Modi’s call for an all-party meeting.

“We have been asking for such a meeting, as it is important to be politically united when it comes to resolving issues related to national security,” Mr. Raja said.

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Mr. Kumar said, “China should know that a united nation will answer the call when summoned to the flag. All political parties stand united in defence of our strategic interests and the full might of the Indian State will be deployed to meet Chinese aggression”.

Mr. Ali said in a tweet, “I welcome PM’s call for all-party meeting to discuss Chinese intrusion. Though it has come a little late as 20 of our soldiers and an officer have already been martyred. Lives could’ve been saved by acting faster. Govt shd ensure not an inch of Indian land is lost.”

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