‘I stand with Modiji ’: Shashi Tharoor uses PM Narendra Modi’s 2013 tweet to target Centre’s response to China
Shashi Tharoor’s dig on China issue is consistent with Congress party’s allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been reluctant to take a hard stance against Chinese acts of aggression.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 19:39 IST
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday retweeted a 2013 tweet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which he had posted as the chief minister of Gujarat while questioning Indian troops’ withdrawal from the conflict zones at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Ladakh sector.
Retweeting the post, Tharoor said he agreed with the question Modi raised then as the Gujarat chief minister in 2013, while referring to instances of Chinese incursions into Indian territory and the subsequent stand-off between the armed forces of the two sides.
“China withdraws its forces but I wonder why Indian forces are withdrawing from Indian territory? Why did we retreat?,” Modi, then Gujarat chief minister, had asked in a tweet dated May 13, 2013.
On 15 April 2013, a platoon of Chinese troops had erected four tents southeast of Daulat Beg Oldi, 19km inside the Indian territory which resulted in a 21-day standoff. Two months later, the same year, Chinese soldiers again intruded into the Chumar sector in Ladakh on June 17. Modi had accused the then UPA government of not standing up to Chinese aggressions.
More than seven years later, Tharoor retweeted Modi’s questioning of the withdrawal of the Indian forces in 2013 to draw a parallel with the current situation in July 2020, when Narendra Modi-led Central government has negotiated an agreement with China for the withdrawal of troops from forward positions in the eastern Ladakh sector, where the two sides clashed in a brutal face off on June 15 in Galwan Valley, leading to deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and an unverified number of Chinese casualties.
“I stand with Modiji on this. PM must answer his question!,” Tharror said while retweeting Modi’s 2013 tweet.
Tharoor’s dig at the Modi government’s handling of the current crisis follows the beginning of an agreement between India and China to disengage from the Line of Actual Control which has resulted in troops on both sides withdrawing up to 1.5km from key friction points of Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Gogra.
The breakthrough to a three month long tense stand-off followed a conversation between the Special Representatives (SR) on the boundary issue, national security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi. Officials also attributed the developments to intense bilateral engagements over the past few days at the diplomatic and military levels.
This is not the first time that Tharoor has tried to use PM Modi’s tweets from the past to bring into focus Modi government’s handling of the border dispute with China. Earlier on June 18, he had retweeted several of Modi’s old tweets on the issue, posted on May 13, 2013, February 8, 2014 and August 15, 2013 respectively.
Tharoor’s re-tweets are in line with Congress offensive accusing the Centre of being soft on China.