‘This isn’t give and take’: Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi over China border pact
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Ladakh disengagement plan agreed with China, accusing the government of ceding Indian territory to China.
“The Indian government’s position at the beginning of this (Ladakh standoff with China) was status quo ante starting April 2020, which is what they had been negotiating for. Now, the defence minister comes and makes a statement that Indian troops are going to be stationed at Finger 3,” Gandhi told a media briefing on Friday.
Gandhi’s sharp attack on the government comes a day after defence minister Rajnath Singh briefed Parliament about the agreement between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army that could end the months-long standoff.
Under this agreement, Rajnath Singh said, the PLA will retreat to its base east of Finger 8 on the north bank of Pangong Tso and the Indian Army will move back to its permanent position near Finger 3. Neither side will patrol the contested areas in between until an agreement is reached through future talks.
Gandhi said Finger 4 is India’s territory but the troops had been moved to Finger 3.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the government responded to the Congress leader, saying it was Jawaharlal Nehru who had ceded territory to the Chinese. "He must ask his grandfather (Jawaharlal Nehru) about who has given India's territory to China, he will get the answer... Who is a patriot and who is not, the public knows it all," junior home minister G Kishan Reddy said, according to news agency ANI.
Gandhi claimed that the country’s armed forces were ready but the “Prime Minister is not ready to stand against the neighbouring nation.”
“Why has Indian territory been given to the Chinese? This is the question that the Prime Minister and defence minister need to answer,” Gandhi said. The Congress leader also asked why the Chinese army hadn’t withdrawn from the Depsang Plains and Gogra-Hot Springs border.
On a question suggesting that negotiations do involve 'give and take' by both parties, Gandhi shot back: "The give is clear that we gave Finger 4, they are sitting in Depsang, Gogra and Hot Spring. What is the take? There is no take, only give, and the reason is clear…. The PM couldn’t stand before China".
“I am saying that it is the responsibility of the prime minister to protect the territory of this country. The prime minister has ceded Indian territory to the Chinese. It is his responsibility to solve that problem.
How he doe it is his problem, not mine,” Gandhi said.