Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Congress Accuses PM Modi Of Ceding Territory To China In Ladakh

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his attack to PM Narendra Modi said CPM has given 1,000 square kilometers of territory to China without a fight, and China has refused to accept India's demand of restoring status quo of April 2020.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.(File photo) PTI

The Congress on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ceding 1,000 sq kms of Indian territory to China "without a fight" and asked when will the government restore status quo ante of April 2020.

The opposition party's attack came after Indian and Chinese armies carried out a joint verification of the disengagement process at Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area in eastern Ladakh after withdrawing their troops and dismantling temporary infrastructure from the friction point.

Both sides completed the disengagement in a phased and coordinated manner, according to people familiar with the development.

Attacking the government, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "China has refused to accept India's demand of restoring status quo of April 2020. PM has given 1,000 sq kms of territory to China without a fight."

"Can the government of India explain how this territory will be retrieved?" he asked.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said this is not the first time "we are disengaging and creating buffer zones" out of destinations where Indian side was patrolling up to.

"First it happened in Galwan, then it happened in Gogra and now it is happening in Hotsprings. Why is our army being made to push back, why is our army being to give up patrolling points where we had been patrolling up until now," Shrinate said.

Raising the issue of status quo ante as in April 2020, Shrinate said the prime minister had promised this country "we will go to status quo ante".

Why is there no status quo ante as far as April 2020 is concerned, she asked.

"We also want to know that with cheap publicity and cheap popularity with domestic audience, why is our foreign security and foreign policy being compromised," the spokesperson said.

Noting that there is tension on the border with China for the last 31 months, Shrinate said why has the Modi government not done anything decisive to ensure that India's national security is not compromised.

"It almost seems China is playing out a script, they come, they acquire a portion of our land, they stay there and then push us back from our patrolling points and our patrolling points get into buffer zones.

"Is this happening because China has seen chink in our armour which is that our prime minister is given to false propaganda, the PM is given to cheap popularity, the PM does not care about our territorial integrity or he does not care about our national security," Shrinate said.

She said the government must answer as to when will status quo ante as in April 2020 be restored.

What will happen about Depsang and Demchok, she asked.

"Why are we not able to patrol at Patrol Point 15, Patrol Point 14 in Galwan valley, Patrol Point 17 in Gogra. Why is the government conspicuously silent as China comes and builds bridges, and lays down villages in Arunachal, kidnaps our citizens. Is this all happening because Modi ji is not being able to give up his love for China," she said, attacking the prime minister.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

The disengagement in the Pangong Lake area took place in February last year while the withdrawal of troops and equipment in Patrolling Point 17 (A) in Gogra took place in August last year.

(With PTI inputs)