By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Main opposition Congress on Wednesday urged the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to tell the nation the truth about the situation at Ladakh’s Galwan Valley where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops on Monday (June 15).
In a video address, Congress president Sonia Gandhi slammed the Modi government for its handling of the Chinese aggression at the LAC. She posed a pointed question to the PM Modi as the Indian army lost 20 soldiers in the violent clash with the Chinese army.
Asking the PM Modi to reveal the nation “how the Chinese occupied Indian territory,” and the reason behind the fight, Ms Gandhi sought details of the number of soldiers injured and missing.
“The sacrifice of our 20 jawans has shaken the conscience of the nation. I pay my tribute to all those brave soldiers from the core of my heart and pray to the almighty to give their families the strength to face this pain,” she said.
She also urged the prime minister to provide information about the parts of Indian Territory that China has occupied.
Congress president’s address coincided with the PM’s first-ever statement on the issue since Monday in which he said that India will give “a befitting reply if instigated.”
In a televised address the PM said that “India wants peace, but if instigated, India at all costs is capable of giving an appropriate response.”
Prior to this statement, Modi had been accused by opposition leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda of staying silent on the month-long border tensions with China and Monday’s killings.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah took potshots at the PM for maintaining silence over the issue.
Using the twitter handle, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also posed some pointed questions to the PM. In his tweet, Rahul killing of soldiers was so painful, then why did the PM take two days to condole the death of our brave soldiers. He also flayed pro-Modi media which blamed the army instead of the Modi government for this fiasco in the Ladakh.
If it was so painful:
- Why insult Indian Army by not naming China in your tweet?
- Why take 2 days to condole?
- Why address rallies as soldiers were being martyred?
- Why hide and get the Army blamed by the crony media?
- Why make paid-media blame Army instead of GOI?
If it was so painful:
1. Why insult Indian Army by not naming China in your tweet?
2. Why take 2 days to condole?
3. Why address rallies as soldiers were being martyred?
4. Why hide and get the Army blamed by the crony media?
5. Why make paid-media blame Army instead of GOI? https://t.co/mpLpMRxwS7
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 17, 2020
Meanwhile, former army generals also criticized the government for the border row which resulted in killing of soldiers in big numbers.
If there is one analyst who kept raising an alarm about China, it is Lt Gen (retd) HS Panag. In a no-holds-barred interview to the Hindustan Times, Gen Panag said the killing of 20 soldiers, is the worst in the history of the Indian army.
Echoing the similar concerns, well-known strategic affairs expert, Ajai Shukla also underlined in his blog that” for the first time since the Kargil intrusions of 1999, Indian territory is in the hands of foreign soldiers. Starting in the third week of April, more than 5,000 Chinese soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have intruded into five points in Ladakh – four along the Galwan River, and one near the Pangong Lake.”
“In the Pangong Tso sector, Chinese troops continue to occupy the area up to Finger 4, which includes 8 kms of Indian-claimed territory between Finger 8 – which is the Indian version of the LAC – and Finger 4,” Shukla’s blog noted.