After morning of denials, Congress accepts Rahul Gandhi met Chinese envoy
Rahul Gandhi not only met the Chinese ambassador but also the Bhutanese envoy and former national security adviser NSA Shiv Shankar Menon.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi confirmed on Monday his meeting with Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui as he took to Twitter to clear the confusion created by party colleagues over the interaction.
“It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese Ambassador, Ex-NSA, Congress leaders from NE & the Bhutanese Ambassador,” he tweeted.
The confusion after the Congress denied in the morning and then accepted hours later a media report on Gandhi’s meeting with Luo.
The television news channel said the two discussed bilateral relations in the context of the ongoing military stand-off between the two Asian giants near the Sikkim border.
“If Govt is so concerned abt me meeting an Amb, they shld explain why 3Ministers are availing Chinese hospitality while the border issue is on,” Gandhi said.
He posted a link of a news article on Union minister Prakash Javadekar’s visit to Beijing.
He also took a swipe at Prime Minister, posting two reports, one with a picture of Narendra Modi with Chinese president Xi Jinping on a swing and another on 1,000 Chinese soldiers entering India.
“And for the record I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India,” the Congress leader said.
In his response to the news channel’s report, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala clarified that not much should be read into the meeting since envoys of various nations meet the party president and vice president as a courtesy.
Also, he said Gandhi not only met the Chinese and Bhutanese envoys but also and former national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon.
“A wanting to be ‘Bhakt’ channel will not question 3 Union Ministers visiting China or PM’s bonhomie & praise at G20 yet run fake news!” he tweeted.
In the morning, the confusion escalated after the Chinese embassy said the two met but removed the statement from its website a while later.
“The two sides exchanged views on the current China-India relations and other business. Counsellor Zhou Yuyun attended the meeting,” the statement read.
The flip-flop didn’t go unnoticed.
“The confusion has ended up making a story where none was needed. It’s not a crime to meet the Chinese or PM Modi wouldn’t have meet Pres Xi,” National Conference leader and Congress ally Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Gandhi questioned on Friday the Prime Minister’s “silence” on the impasse in Doklam, located at a narrow but strategically important tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan.
“Why is our Prime Minister silent on China?” he asked on Twitter.
China has accused Indian soldiers of trespass and preventing its soldiers from building a road in the Doklam region, which is claimed by Bhutan.