Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday again targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the border standoff with China that led to a violent clash last month, alleging that he was “100% focused on building his own image” and did not have a vision for the country.
“India’s captured institutions are all busy doing this task,” Gandhi tweeted along with a two-minute video. “One man’s image is not a substitute for a national vision.”
He suggested that New Delhi needs to change its approach in dealing with Beijing. “Psychologically, you have to deal with the Chinese from a position of strength,” Gandhi said in the video. “If you deal with them from a position of strength, you can work with them, you can get what you need and it can be actually done. But if they sense weakness then you had it.”
The former Congress president added India should deal with China by thinking big and developing an international vision. “[China’s] Belt and Road initiative is an attempt to change the nature of the planet,” he added. “India has to have a global vision. India now has to become an idea. And it has to become a global idea. So the thing that is gonna protect India is actually thinking big.”
The Congress leader said lack of vision had resulted in “Indians fighting Indians”. India could either become a major global player or irrelevant depending on the path the country chooses, he added.
“Of course, we have this border issue and we have to resolve this border issue,” Gandhi continued. “But we have to change our approach, we have to change how we think...That is why I’m aggravated. Because I can see that a huge opportunity is being lost. Why? Because we are not thinking long-term, because we are not thinking long-term and big and because we are disturbing our internal balance. We are fighting among each other...This shows there is no clear cut vision going forward.”
The Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said it is his job to ask questions and put pressure on Modi. “His responsibility is to give the vision,” Gandhi said. “I can tell you, guaranteed it’s not there and that’s why China is there today.”
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and 76 injured in a clash with Chinese forces in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15. The face-off between the two neighbouring countries was the worst instance of violence along the Line of Actual Control since 1975. Even after several rounds of talks with India to discuss disengagement and de-escalation of tensions, reports said China has not yet withdrawn its troops from all areas along the LAC.