The Congress on Wednesday called June 19 a “black day” in India’s history, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “lied” to the nation about the Chinese transgressions in Ladakh that day.
The party also attacked the Modi government for taking loans to the tune of $750 million (Rs 5,521 crore) from the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to provide financial support the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), a scheme launched to help the poor hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when the armed forces were fighting China’s People’s Liberation Army in eastern Ladakh.
Addressing reporters outside the Parliament House complex, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera claimed that the Union ministers are speaking in different languages on the India-China border standoff.
Also Read: J-K, Ladakh fully integrated into mainstream India, says Centre
“June 19 is a black day in the history of India because that was the first time that any Prime Minister lied to the nation. Not only did he give a clean chit to China that day, but also signed a loan agreement with the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to the tune of $750 million (Rs 5,521 crore),” he said.
“By then, 20 of our brave soldiers had sacrificed their lives while protecting our sovereignty in violent clashes with Chinese troops,” added Khera.
China is the largest shareholder in AIIB.
Earlier, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi too attacked the government on the issue.
“Understand the chronology: PM said no one has entered Indian territory, then took loans from China-based bank, then defence minister said China has intruded into our territory and now home minister says no infiltration along India-China border. Is the Modi government with Indian armed forces or with China? Why is there so much of fear?” he tweeted.
Khera told reporters that two “shocking revelations expose the lies, double speak, hoodwinking and hypocrisy” of the Modi government on the issue of ongoing border tensions with China on the eastern border in areas such as South Pangong, Razun La and the finger area.
He said the government accepted in the House on Tuesday that India took two loans amounting to Rs 9,202 crore from the Beijing-based multilateral development bank.
“The bank was formed in 2016 and is headquartered in Beijing. With 26.6% voting share, China is the largest shareholder of the bank. The first loan of $500 million was taken on May 8 amid reports of Chinese incursions at multiple points in eastern Ladakh, including the Pangong lake,” Khera claimed.
Also Read: China actions sparked LAC standoff; India ready: Govt
“The second loan of $750 million was taken on June 19; four days after the Galwan massacre where we lost 20 of our bravehearts. Incidentally, it was also the same day when Prime Minister Modi lied to the country by saying that no one had entered our territory,” he added.
The Congress leader said the stated and much-touted policy of the Modi government of cracking down on Chinese business relationships with India stands exposed. “We would like to ask Mr S Jaishankar (foreign minister) whether he still stands by his statement ‘there cannot be business as usual in the face of Chinese attempts to unilaterally changing the facts on the ground along the border’”.
Khera said the nation is “shocked at such brazen duplicity” of the Modi government in handling China’s territorial aggression.
He said the “second shocker” came in the form of an answer by the Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai to an unstarred question, in which the minister categorically denied any infiltration by China during the past six months.
“This is a shameless insult to the martyrdom of our brave soldiers on the night of June 15 in the Galwan valley. Is the government trying to say that the Galwan clash happened in Chinese territory? By saying so, is the government blaming the Indian army of trespassing into enemy territory?” asked Khera.
“Isn’t this just another clean chit to China but also a handle given to China by our government whereby China can now… tell the world that we are not the aggressor but India is? The response of the government dilutes the resolve of India and its mighty army to protect every inch of our valuable territory,” he said.
“The defence minister Rajnath Singh talks about differing perceptions of the line of actual control (LAC) and now the MoS Home categorically gives a clean chit to China by saying that no incursions have taken place,” he said.
“Is this a public handover of Indian territory to China by the government of the day? The defence minister and the entire government need to give a clear answer to four of our questions.” Khera said.
“Are we able to patrol the same areas we were able to before April 2020? What is the pressure under which the Prime Minister gave a clean chit to china? The Ministry of Defence removed the document that acknowledged the Chinese transgression in eastern Ladakh on August 7 under what pressure? Is the entire government now trying to justify that one big lie of the Prime Minister of June 19? What did the defence minister mean when he said that the talks with China might not be fruitful?” asked the Congress.
“A clear message should go across the world that India and its government stand with the Indian army and will not legitimise China’s claims over our territory. The LAC is clearly marked in our military maps. There is no differing perception of LAC as far as we are concerned. Every single Indian seeks answers from the government and wants to see the restoration of status quo ante,” Khera added.
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