NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday reiterated that the government should come clean on the issue of border dispute with China, asking it to clarify if the neighbour had come to occupy any territory in Ladakh.
In a post on Twitter, addressing defence minister Rajnath Singh, Gandhi asked, “Once RM (Raksha mantri) is done commenting on the hand symbol, can he answer: Have the Chinese occupied Indian territory in Ladakh?”
This was in response to Singh’s jibe at Gandhi when the latter had taken on Union home minister Amit Shah over the issue. Singh had tweaked a couplet from poet Ghalib to take a pot-shot at the Congress party and their election symbol – the hand.
The Congress has been trying to build a narrative around India’s border dispute with China and has been asking the government to be transparent about the issue.
The Indian government has maintained that its military and diplomatic ties with China have been positive and shall continue.
The trigger for the latest round of tension between the two Asian neighbours was Beijing’s opposition to India laying a key road around the Pangong lake and construction of another link road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in the Galwan Valley. China has deployed a large number of troops in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley besides gradually building temporary infrastructure and amassing weaponry.
“Some senior leaders of Congress party are asking what is happening on the India-China border. I want to assure people of the country that I will give a detailed response on this in the Parliament,” Singh had said on Monday, adding that the union government will not compromise on India’s pride and self-respect.
The Congress and other opposition parties are likely to raise the India-China border dispute when the Parliament meets next.
Last month, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had said the monsoon session of the Parliament, which usually begins in the last week of June or in the first week of July, may be held on time if situation permits. In March, the budget session had been cut short due to the pandemic.