Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the country, in which he spoke about the coronavirus pandemic and announced schemes for the poor. Attacking Modi, Gandhi implied that the prime minister had once again avoided talking about the tensions with China.
Tensions between India and China surged earlier this month after a violent clash between troops of the two countries in Galwan Valley in Ladakh on the Line of Actual Control. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 76 wounded in the clash. China also admitted to casualties but did not reveal their number.
Gandhi tweeted a modified version of an Urdu poem, which could be translated to: “Do not deflect attention by talking of banalities, tell us why the caravan was looted. We have a grudge against the robbers, [but] this is a question of your leadership.” Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had used the same couplet to target the Congress in the past, NDTV reported.
The Congress also ridiculed Modi’s speech, calling it “another national address that could have been a government notification”.
Gandhi has repeatedly attacked Modi and the Centre for their handling of the China situation. Earlier on Tuesday, he attacked the government’s flagship “Make in India” programme, saying imports from China have increased since 2014.
“Facts don’t lie,” Gandhi tweeted. “BJP says: Make in India. BJP does: Buy from China.” He also attached a graph showing that from 2008-’14, the imports from China were below 14%, while after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power, the imports rose to over 18%.
His comments came a day after the government banned 59 mobile applications, mostly popular Chinese apps like TikTok, WeChat, Cam Scanner, citing threat to national security and sovereignty.
Last week, Gandhi had labelled Modi “Surrender Modi” after the prime minister claimed in an interaction with chief ministers of states that Chinese troops did not enter Indian territory.