'This is a lie’: In Ladakh, Rahul Gandhi's ‘China’ remark, a day after PM Modi-Xi meeting
Rahul Gandhi raked up the China border issue claiming the PLA has occupied India's land and the government is lying.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit in South Africa's Johannesburg, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday raked up the China border issue claiming that the PLA has occupied India's land. He also alleged that Modi lied while asserting that “not even an inch of Ladakh has been taken by China”.
"Ladakh is a strategic location...One thing is very clear China has taken away India's land...It is sad that the prime minister in the Opposition meeting said that not even an inch of Ladakh has been taken by China. This is a lie...," Rahul Gandhi said at a rally in Ladakh's Kargil, where he has been travelling for the past week. Gandhi will lay a wreath at the Kargil war memorial to honour the war martyrs.
Then on his way to Srinagar, he will have a stopover in Drass for a brief interaction with the people.
India's foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra on Thursday said Modi conveyed to Xi India's concerns on the “unresolved” issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, underlining that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas was essential for normalisation of India-China ties.
The Chinese readout described the conversation between the two leaders on Wednesday as “candid and in-depth”.
Speaking on his Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress MP said, “A few months ago, we walked from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, it was called ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The aim was to stand against hatred and violence spread by the BJP-RSS in the country...The message that came out of the yatra was-'nafrat ke bazaar mein hum mohabbat ki dukaan kholne nikle hain'. In the last few days, I got to see this myself. At the time of the yatra, I could not visit Ladakh due to snow in winter. It was in my heart to conduct the yatra in Ladakh and I took it forward this time on a motorbike.”
Taking an apparent dig at Modi, Gandhi said, “Other leaders are busy doing their 'Mann Ki Baat'. I thought of listening to your 'Mann Ki Baat'. One thing is quite clear - Gandhi Ji and Congress' ideology is in Ladakh's blood and DNA.”
The Congress leader will be reaching Srinagar on a two-day "personal visit" and will be joined by his mother Sonia Gandhi next day, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Vikar Rasool Wani said on Friday.
Wani, however, said the two senior leaders will have no political engagement or meeting with any party leaders in Srinagar during the "family tour."
Gandhi reached Ladakh on August 17, his first visit to the region since it was granted UT status after being carved out from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was also turned into a Union Territory with its special status under Article 370 revoked.
Over the past one week, he has gone round almost all famous places including Pangong Tso, Nubra valley, Khardungla top, Lamayuru and Zanskar on his motorcycle before reaching Kargil on Thursday.