Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday urged the Narendra Modi-led government to “come clean” about the border conflict between India and China and not let speculation escalate amid the coronavirus health crisis.
“The government’s silence about the border situation with China is fueling massive speculation and uncertainty at a time of crisis,” Gandhi claimed in a tweet. “GOI [Government of India] must come clean and tell India exactly what’s happening.”
The Congress leader’s remarks came two days after the party had called the stand-off between the two nations a matter of “serious national concern”. On May 26, Gandhi had made a similar demand and said the government should make it clear as to what was happening on the border so that people can understand and form their own opinions.
Over the last two weeks, Chinese troops have clashed with the Indian Army at several points along the Line of Actual Control. India and China do not share a defined and demarcated border. Instead, there is the Line of Actual Control, which stretches thousands of kilometres from Ladakh all the way to Arunachal Pradesh.
The dispute between India and China centres around a strategic bridge being built near Daulat Beg Oldi, a military post south of the Karakoram Pass. China has reportedly asked India to stop building infrastructure even on its own side of the LAC. New Delhi, on the other hand, has asked Beijing to maintain status quo on the border. In recent weeks, India and China have reportedly deployed additional troops along the LAC at North Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh.
On Thursday, United States President Donald Trump referred to the tension as a “big conflict” and said that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not “in a good mood” because of the situation. But soon after, the Indian government denied that there any had been any recent contact between the two leaders.
The previous day, Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries, but both India and China rejected the offer and said they will rely on bilateral talks. While the US has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on multiple occasions in the past, this is the first time the American president has offered to be the third party mediator between India and China.
The United Nations also said on Thursday that it was for India and China to decide who should mediate between the two countries and urged the two nations to avoid any action that would increase the tension.