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Rahul Gandhi questions PM Modi’s silence on Chinese incursions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during an event in New Delhi. File photo   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a tweet, questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Chinese incursion in Ladakh, and this provoked a counter attack from Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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In the tweet quoting news reports that the Chinese side has been driving a hard bargain in the talks between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army, Mr. Gandhi said, “The Chinese have walked in and taken our territory in Ladakh. Meanwhile, the PM is absolutely silent and has vanished from the scene”.

According to Army sources, the two sides discussed de-escalation plan on five conflict points in Ladakh. The Chinese side, the Indian Army claimed, had removed some tents, troops and vehicles.

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Mr. Prasad said, “Rahul Gandhi should know that questions related to international matters like China should not be asked on social media. Also he is the same person who asked for evidence after the Balakot airstrikes & over 2016 Uri attack”. In a longer video message posted with the tweet in Hindi, he said the government was trying to peacefully resolve the issue.

Congress hits back

The Congress held a press conference via webcast to respond to Mr. Prasad’s words. Party’s national spokesperson and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari said the government, rather than coming clean on the issue and addressing the concerns of the country, was launching abrasive attacks on Opposition parties. He called Mr. Prasad’s reaction as “ill-considered, intemperate and irresponsible”. Patriotism and nationalism were not the exclusive monopoly of the NDA and the BJP. As a responsible Opposition, the Congress was obliged to ask the hard questions on behalf of the people of this country.

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“We would advise Mr. Prasad to save his sanctimonious anger for India’s adversaries rather than the Opposition,” Mr. Tewari said. The incursion issue was flagged by Army veterans. The government, he said, initially responded in its usual ostrich- like approach of burying their head in the sand. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was the first voice from the government to concede aboutChinese presence in the region and that too only after several international publications reported on the subject, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 9:20:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rahul-gandhi-questions-pm-modis-silence-on-chinese-incursions/article31792735.ece

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