Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra on Friday said Congress President Rahul Gandhi has a questionable Chinese connection and that he has left for China. Patra’s statements come the day Gandhi is scheduled to leave for a 12-day pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar.
The BJP said that Gandhi had asked the Ministry of External Affair’s for permission for a ceremonial farewell from the Chinese envoy at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. The Chinese ambassador to India also requested passes to use a ceremonial lounge to conduct the ceremony, Patra said. “Why should the Chinese ambassador see you [Rahul Gandhi] off?” Patra asked, adding that the India government did not respond to the request.
Patra also raised the matter of Gandhi’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador to India during the Doklam standoff. Gandhi had come under severe criticism for the meeting on July 8, 2017. The Congress president, however, defended his actions and said it was his “job to be informed on critical issues”.
The BJP spokesperson said that if Gandhi wanted to know about the standoff, he should have contacted the Ministry of External Affairs or National Security Adviser instead. “Gandhi met the Chinese envoy in a secret meeting,” Patra said. “Rahul Gandhi has an obsession for China and and obsession for Doklam. He wanted the Chinese perspective. The question is why does he always want a Chinese perspective and not an Indian perspective. While did he not keep the Indian government informed about it.”
Patra said that during Gandhi’s visit to Germany, the Congress president turned down questions on the standoff citing that he did not have information on the matter. “It reflects on his parliamentary responsibility,” Patra said, adding that Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had informed him of the developments on the border in the Parliament.
The BJP claimed that Gandhi takes every opportunity to advertise for China. “Why have you behaved as a Chinese spokesperson?” Patra said. “The Congress needs to specify who Rahul Gandhi is going to meet in China?”