Modi lied to nation over Chinese incursions, weakened India’s position: Congress

China knows that India’s PM is more worried about his artificial masculine image than the country’s geographical integrity, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said at a press meeting

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera (File photo courtesy)
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera (File photo courtesy)

Sanjukta Basu

The Congress launched a stinging attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his June 19, 2020 statement “Na koi ghusa tha, na koi aaya tha, na koi ghusa hua hai (Neither did anybody enter, nor did anybody come nor is anybody inside)” with regard to Chinese incursions at the border in Ladakh.

“With this irresponsible statement, the Prime Minister gave a clean chit to China and tilted the balance in their favour. His actions have weakened India’s position in Indo-China talks over Galwan, Gogra and parts of Host Spring (friction points in Eastern Ladakh involved in the India-China border dispute). He has also diluted the five agreements we have entered into,” said Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera at a press meeting held on October 12.

Accusing the Prime Minister for being only interested in image and headlines management, Khera said, “China has come to know that India has a Prime Minister who is more worried about his artificial masculine image than the country’s geographical integrity. The Prime Ministers should be more responsible when they say something about foreign issues.”

Referring to the 13th round of Corps Commander talks held on Monday which reportedly failed, Khera said, “The 13th round of talks have also failed. Chinese forces are refusing to move back and our Army chief is saying ‘China is here to stay’. Just compare the statements, PM said, ‘nobody entered,’ Army chief is saying ‘they are here to stay’. This is very unfortunate.”

Khera also referred to the repeated incursions in different parts of Uttarakhand. “They entered our areas and destroyed two of our bridges. They have dared to enter parts like Tujlaps, Barahoti which has never happened before. From Ladakh to Sikkim to Arunachal to Uttarakhand – China is repeatedly challenging our border integrity because they know we have a weak PM who will give them a clean chit.”

Khera countered allegations that the opposition is weakening the Army’s morale, saying, “We have never doubted Army’s courage and strength. Army has never been weak either in in 1967 or 1971 or 1962 or 1965 or during Kargil war. What we have is a brave nation, brave army but weak Prime Minister.”

The Congress leader also highlighted the record 62.7% growth in India-China trade in the first half of 2021.The bilateral trade volume is in fact set to cross the record figure of USD 100 billion this year which is ironical given the border skirmishes between the two nations and the mass hysteria of boycotting Chinese products provoked by BJP leaders and right wing forces.

“How is it possible that business with enemy nation has grown so rapidly?” Khera asked. “It is because of the clean chit that the Prime Minister gave. So why did the PM lie to the nation?” he added.

Khera sought to compare the leadership and governance model of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his team and the present dispensation. “You will remember that even during Dr

Manmohan Singh’s regime, China had dared to violate borders but they were forced to leave in 21 days. There is a strength in the silent diplomacy of Dr Singh which gave us results, that loud masculine slogan cannot give,” Khera said.

Indeed, in April 2013, India had alleged that about 40 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops had intruded 19 km into its territory across the line of actual control (LAC) and set up tents in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector. A section of strategic analysts and media had doubted the capability of the then Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Salman Khurshid in in resolving the stand-off.

But the matter was resolved at diplomatic levels with several flag meetings, talks between the two sides under the aegis of a newly created Joint Mechanism, and daily conversations between then Indian Ambassador to China S. Jaishankar (present MEA) and the Chinese Foreign Office.

“We have to make these comparisons today. We have to keep reminding this government that the Chinese actions are posing a grave threat to India’s border. They have deployed 400 air defence missile which is not a small matter. Trade can wait, the PM needs to stop China first,” Khera added.

Responding to PM Modi’s ‘selective outrage’ comment at the National Human Rights Commission’s Foundation Day, Khera said, “The Prime Minister has some major issues; he would only show “red eyes” to his own people inside the nation, not to those who are threatening the borders and he is always comparing and doing whataboutery. Congress party may have only raised the issue of Lakhimpur and Hathras but not of others like in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Fair enough. What about the PM? He has not spoken on either Lakhimpur or Maharashtra or

Hathras or Rajasthan. Instead of comparing, he should give his own track record. He is not ready to speak on the China issue in Parliament. He should quit social media and run the nation,” a searing Khera said.

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