Ladakh’s Bharatiya Janata Party MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal on Tuesday responded to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s question on whether China had occupied the Indian territory in Ladakh with a detailed map, and claimed they had done so under the Congress’ regime.
Tensions between India and China escalated after soldiers from the two nations engaged in a standoff at the north Sikkim and eastern Ladakh borders over the past month. On Monday, China said that its military had reached a consensus with its Indian counterpart not to allow differences to escalate into disputes.
The Congress leader has been constantly attacking the Centre, urging the Narendra Modi-led government to “come clean” on the border conflict.
On Tuesday, Gandhi attacked Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after he took a dig at the his party. Singh tweeted an Urdu poem and replaced a word with the “hand symbol”, which is the Congress’ logo. “Once RM [Rajnath Singh] is done commenting on the hand symbol, can he answer: Have the Chinese occupied Indian territory in Ladakh?” Gandhi asked.
Namgyal responded to Gandhi’s tweet and said that his response was based on facts. “I hope Rahul Gandhi and Congress will agree with my reply based on facts and hopefully they won’t try to mislead again,” he tweeted.
The BJP leader claimed that the Chinese had occupied the Indian territory during the Congress’ rule. “Starting from the 38,000 sq km of Aksai Chin in eastern Ladakh seized by China in the 1962 war,” Namgyal wrote. “The Tia Pangnak and Chabji Valley [250m length] in Chumur area till 2008 during the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] time.”
He claimed the Zorawar Fort in Demjok was destroyed by the People’s Liberation Army in 2008 and the People’s Liberation Army Observing Point was setup in 2012, all during the UPA regime. He also said that the People’s Liberation Army “created Chinese/new Demjok/Colony with 13 cemented houses”.
The BJP MP added that India lost Doom Cheley, an ancient trade point, between Dungti and Demjok in 2008-2009. He attached a map titled “Overview of Demjok area. [The] Chinese intruded land of India till 2012 during Congress regime”.
On Wednesday, Gandhi once again questioned the prime minister’s silence. “The Chinese have walked in and taken our territory in Ladakh,” Gandhi said. “Meanwhile, the PM [prime minister] is absolutely silent and has vanished from the scene.”
Earlier on Monday, Gandhi had mocked Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s claim that India’s borders were well protected and said that everyone knows the “reality of the situation”.