Cong seeks clarification on PM’s commentUpdated: Jun 21, 2020 23:55 IST
The Opposition kept up pressure on the central government on Sunday over the Galwan valley clash that left 20 Indian Army soldiers dead, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi citing a satellite image to allege that China has occupied Indian territory.
“The PM had said neither anyone entered into our territory nor anyone has occupied our land. But satellite photo clearly shows that near the Pangong lake sacred land of India has been captured,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
In another tweet, Gandhi, who has been unrelenting in his criticism of the government on the issue, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “surrender Modi”.
His fresh tweets came a day after the Prime Minister’s Office said there was a “mischievous interpretation” of PM Modi’s comments made at Friday’s all-party meeting, which discussed the Galwan valley skirmish.
At that meeting, Modi categorically said that neither has anyone present in the Indian territory currently and nor is any Indian post captured. He also praised the valour of the 20 army personnel killed in the clash, and said they “taught a lesson” to those who were eyeing Indian territory.
The PMO statement on Saturday said: “The prime minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC (Line of Actual Control) pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces.”
On Sunday, the Congress again sought a clarification from the PM in what it called contradictions in the government’s position. “Why did the PM tell the All-Party Meeting that ‘no one intruded into our territory’? Why did PMO delete these words from the official statement?” asked senior Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal.
“How were 85 jawans seriously injured and how were 10 officers and jawans captured by the Chinese? Why does the statement of the External Affairs Ministry dated June 20th, 2020, contradict the PM’s statement on incursions by the Chinese?” Sibal asked, addressing a virtual press conference.
The Congress alleges that the PM’s comments are contradictory to what the defence minister and the external affairs minister have said on the issue of the Chinese trying to erect a “structure in the Galwan Valley on our side”.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), too, hit out at the government. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “PM’s remarks came as a major setback to the legitimacy of the act of heroism of our brave soldiers. Further, this undermines the strength of our diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute.”