The Congress on Sunday sought answers from the Union government on the border conflict with China, and asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was evading a discussion on the topic.
India and China have been locked in a border standoff since June 2020 when Indian and Chinese troops had clashed in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.
On December 9, Indian and Chinese troops again clashed along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector. New Delhi says Chinese soldiers attempted to “unilaterally change the status quo” by transgressing the Line of Actual Control, while Beijing claims Indian troops illegally crossed the border to stop a routine patrol of troops.
On Sunday, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh cited media reports to allege that Chinese intrusions had become more frequent in India’s Eastern Sector.
The Congress MP asked the Centre to provide proof for its claim that the situation is under control. He said that earlier governments had taken journalists and MPs to the border at various times such as during the Kargil war.
“What is the PM hiding from people of India?” Ramesh asked in a series of questions.
The Congress leader also suggested that the problem at the border could be a result of the “brotherhood and closeness” between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Could it be, as you [Modi] said in 2013, ‘The problem is not at the border, the problem is in Delhi’?” he said.
Ramesh also alleged that China has entered 18 kilometres deep into the Depsang plains in the disputed Aksai Chin region and that Indian troops are unable to access this area.
“What does PM Modi propose to do about this?” he asked.
On the recent clash, Ramesh noted that there has been two years of disengagement in the Yangtse region of Arunachal Pradesh, and asked what emboldened China to take over the Indian post there.
The Congress MP said former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had gone to China in 1988 “when we were strong at the borders and after that visit bilateral ties became stronger”, reported The Indian Express. But in 2020, this came to an end and a new chapter was opened, he claimed.
“The prime minister has given a clean chit to them [China] by saying ‘no one has come and no one is inside our territory’,” he alleged. “Due to this clean chit, our bargaining position has gone down.”
The Congress MP also sought a debate in Parliament on the issue and said that the prime minister must answer questions, not Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
“Several former prime ministers have answered in Parliament,” he said. “He is the first prime minister who runs away from debate and he does not utter the word China.”