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'China Allegedly Invaded India': Congress Leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's Remark Sparks Fresh Row | Details

While the BJP termed Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's controversial remark 'a brazen attempt at revisionism', taking it to x, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday night said that the veteran party leader has 'subsequently apologised unreservedly for using the term 'alleged invasion' mistakenly'.

PTI
Veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar | Photo: PTI
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Within days since his last controversial remark on respecting Pakistan as they have atom bomb, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's another remark suggesting alleged Chinese invasion in October 1962 triggered a fresh political row.

While the BJP termed the controversial remark "a brazen attempt at revisionism", taking it to x, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday night said that the veteran party leader has "subsequently apologised unreservedly for using the term 'alleged invasion' mistakenly".

"Allowances must be made for his age," he further added while underlining that Congress has "distanced itself from his original phraseology".

What did Mani Shankar Aiyar say?

Veteran Congress leader Aiyar, while speaking at the launch of the book 'Nehru's First Recruits' at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Delhi on Tuesday evening, said, "In October 1962, the Chinese allegedly invaded India.”

Furthermore, the senior leader also reiterated the time when he was refused entry into the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

“On the day that Taiwan fell, the Foreign Service exams began in London. When they were over, the newspapers used to make reference to me being a Left-wing, being a communist. After I had passed the IFS exams and had done rather well, if I may say so, I suddenly found that I was not getting any kind of admission letter", Aiyar said.

"So I wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs saying I haven’t received my joining letter. I received a telegram saying ‘regret to inform you that you have been rejected from all services’. I immediately realised what it was about. As some people said, I had raised money for the Chinese. I wasn’t able to raise money to eat my dinner. How was I going to raise it for the Chinese?” he continued.

'...Mistakenly used the word': Mani Shankar Aiyar apologised

Taking cognisance of the gravity of his remarks, the Congess leader later clarified his statement while admitting that it was inappropriate to use the term "alleged", especially amid the ongoing election season.

In a brief statement, he said, "I unreservedly apologise for having mistakenly used the word 'alleged' before 'Chinese invasion' at the Foreign Correspondents Club this evening."

“There are various books which indicate that we could have accepted Zhou Enlai’s proposal of April 1960 and avoided a warâ€æ I used the expression 'alleged'. I shouldn’t have done so because we are in the middle of an election," he added.

'Brazen attempt at revisionism': BJP slams Mani Shankar Aiyar

Slamming the senior Congress leader and terming his controversial remark as "a brazen attempt at revisionism", the BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted, "Nehru gave up India’s claim on permanent seat at the UNSC in favour of the Chinese, Rahul Gandhi signed a secret MoU, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation accepted funds from the Chinese Embassy and published reports recommending market access for Chinese companies, based on them, Sonia Gandhi’s UPA opened up Indian market for Chinese goods, hurting MSMEs and now Congress leader Aiyar wants to whitewash the Chinese invasion, post which the Chinese have been in illegal occupation of 38,000 sq km of Indian territory."

"What explains Congress’s love for the Chinese?" he added.

Aiyar's 'respect Pakistan' remark

Few weeks earlier, Aiyar's remark on respecting Pakistan as they have atom bomb power triggered another massive row as he targeted the Centre for not holding a dialogue with Pakistan for the last 10 years.

In his statement, Aiyar said if the government doesn’t respect the neighbouring country, it may have to pay a heavy price.

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