Congress leader Rahul Gandhi continued his attack on the Centre on Monday for its handling of the China crisis. In a video posted on Twitter, he claimed that the Chinese have occupied Indian land and denying this was “anti-national”. On the other hand, he said, bringing the truth to the notice of the people is the patriotic thing to do.
On June 15, Indian and Chinese troops clashed in Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. The violent clash led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and injuries to 76. An unspecified number of Chinese security personnel were also killed. Days later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed in a meeting with Opposition leaders that the Chinese had not entered Indian territory.
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rounds of talks with India to discuss disengagement and de-escalation of tensions, reports said China has not yet withdrawn its troops from all areas along the LAC.
“It is absolutely clear that the Chinese have entered the Indian territory and it makes my blood boil,” Gandhi asserted on Monday. “I have seen the satellite images, have spoken to ex-Army people. If you want me to lie that the Chinese did not enter the country, I will simply not lie, even if my whole career goes to hell.”
Gandhi said that as an Indian, his first priority is the people of the country. “I don’t care if it costs me my political career, but I am going to say the truth as far as Indian territory is concerned,” he said.
Gandhi’s past attacks on Modi, Centre over China
The Congress leader has been targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government and Modi for more than a month.
Gandhi said on July 23 that Modi 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. The former Congress president added India should deal with China by thinking big and developing an international vision.
Three days previously, he said Modi had come to power with the help of a “fabricated strongman image” but now that image of a leader with a “56-inch chest” was under attack from Beijing. China is “basically telling Modi that if you do not do what we say, we will destroy the idea of Modi as a strong leader,” Gandhi said.
The Congress leader has also described the Centre’s response to the China crisis as “cowardly”. “China has taken our land and GOI [the Government of India] is behaving like Chamberlain,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter. “This will further embolden China.”
Gandhi’s ‘Chamberlain’ mention in his tweet was a reference to former British Prime Minister Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who was known to have a policy of appeasement towards former German Chancellor and genocidalist Adolf Hitler during the period before World War II. He had surrendered parts of Czechoslovakia to Hitler by signing the Munich Agreement in 1938.
On June 21, Gandhi had accused Modi of “surrender” to China, by denying that the People’s Liberation Army had entered Indian territory, in defiance of satellite imagery.