Modi's silence on China cost India the negotiating position: Jairam Ramesh

The Congress has in the past criticised PM Modi for his silence on the Indian army's clash with Chinese soldiers in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh (photo: Getty Images)
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh (photo: Getty Images)

NH Digital

The Indian National Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of providing a "clean chit" to the Chinese government in 2020, ahead of a press briefing by Lok Sabha member Manish Tiwari, also a former minister of information and broadcasting, held on Monday, 19 June.

The Congress criticised Modi, saying that India's negotiating position has been weakened due to his silence on Chinese transgressions along the border.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted earlier in the day, announcing the briefing with a YouTube link. "3 years ago today our PM gave China a clean chit after 20 of our soldiers had been killed & our territory captured. Much has followed from that disastrous clean chit. My colleague Manish Tewari will explain the consequences of this at 4pm today," he wrote.

He shared a speech by PM Modi on Twitter delivered three years ago too, in which Modi had denied any kind of incursion in the Indian territory sharing its borders with China.

Ramesh has pointed out this problem on several occasions. On 18 December 2022, in a press conference during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he criticised Modi for his silence after Indian army soldiers clashed with Chinese soldiers in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, PTI reported. He raised the slogan in the meeting "Pradhan Mantri-ji, cheen par chuppi todo, Bharat jodo [Mr Prime Minister, break the silence on China, unite India]".

Opposition leader from the Congress, Manish Tiwari, spoke in the press conference held at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarter in Delhi today, noting that more than three years have passed since the May 2020 India–China debacle. He said that "from the past three years, we have been hearing the news that China is establishing 'unprecedented infrastructure' at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)", and asked, "What is India doing to stop China? The government should give [some] explanation on this. Why [have] Parliament or the defence ministry's consultative committee not discussed about China?"

Tiwari added that the government refrains from answering questions related to China or the LAC in Parliament. He also said that he has asked 66 questions to the government that have not been entertained on grounds of national security. He added, "although there are many ministers who did receive any response to their questions either ".

In the conference, he refers to a Times Now interview held in May 2022 with a former United States ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster. He pointed out Juster's statement that India withholds from criticising China in any US-India and Quad communication because India does not want to poke China.

Tiwari lays two essential demands in the conference. He points out his first demand, "the government should hold a comprehensive discussion in the parliament about the current problems we are facing at the LAC," and followed by his second demand, he said, "the government shall notify a white paper [in the parliament] stating the reality behind the events occurred in the past three years pertaining to the LAC".

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