'He should've been sacked': Rahul Gandhi targets Centre over VK Singh's LAC statement
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded the sacking of Union minister VK Singh in the wake of his statement on the standoff with China at Line of Actual Control (LAC). Gandhi said in a tweet that the Singh is "helping China make a case against India".
"Why is a BJP minister helping China make a case against India? He should’ve been sacked. Not sacking him means insulting every Indian Jawan," Gandhi tweeted.
Singh, the minister of state for transport and highways and a former four-star general, had told the media in Madurai on Sunday that the border with China has never been demarcated. He also said that both countries have crossed their perceptions of the undemarcated LAC many times.
“...none of you come to know how many times we have transgressed as per our perception. Chinese media does not cover it,” Singh said, according to The Hindu newspaper.
“Let me assure you, if China has transgressed 10 times, we must have done it at least 50 times,” he was quoted as saying.
The Chinese foreign ministry quickly jumped on to the statement and blamed India for the ongoing border conflict along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. "It is the root cause of the tension," the spokesperson of China's foreign ministry Wang Wenbin said.
“This is an unwitting confession by the Indian side. For a long time, the Indian side has conducted frequent acts of trespass in the border area in an attempt to encroach on China’s territory and constantly created disputes and frictions, which is the root cause of the tensions at the China-India border,” he said.
“We urge the Indian side to follow through on the consensus, agreements and treaties it reached with China, and uphold peace and stability... with concrete actions,” he added.
India has repeatedly blamed China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of provoking and transgressing across the LAC.
Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs (MEA), had earlier spelt out the Indian government’s position on the tension and the disengagement process, saying the LAC “must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
India and China are enganed in a standoff in eastern Ladakh along the LAC, following aggressive actions by the Chinese army. The two sides have held nine rounds of commander-level talks. Twenty Indian soldiers had laid down their lives and an unspecified number of Chinese soldiers were killed during a clash in the Galwan Valley in June last year.