Rahul Gandhi may not be in the country as Parliament takes place but the Congress MP has continued his attacks on the Narendra Modi government over the India-China border stand-off.
Mr Gandhi, who accompanied his mother Sonia Gandhi as she flew out last week for a medical check-up, tweeted: “Aap chronology samajhiye (Please understand the chronology)” and claimed that days before PM Modi said China had not crossed into Indian territory, the government “took a huge loan from a China-based bank”.
The tweet doubled as a swipe at Home Minister Amit Shah, who used the same phrase last year about the controversial CAA and NRC programmes.
“Aap chronology samajhiye (Please understand the chronology). PM said no one entered the border… Then took a huge loan from China-based bank… Then defence minister said China had encroached … Now Minister of State for Home said no encroachment,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.
“Is Modi government with Indian Army or China? Modiji, why so scared?” he asked.
Understand the chronology:
????PM said- no one crossed the border
????Then, took a huge loan from a China-based bank
????Then, Def Min said- China occupied our land
????Now, MOS Home says- there’s no infiltration.
Is Modi Govt with Indian Army or with China?
Modi ji, why so scared?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 16, 2020
In June Prime Minister Modi, after the Galwan violence, said: “Neither has anyone intruded into our territory nor taken over any post” – a comment seen by the Congress as indicating China had crossed the LAC, because the alternative was India had crossed it.
According to news agency Reuters, around that same time the government took out a $750 million loan from the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in June. The money was to help India battle the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.
Since then the government has cracked down on business dealings with China, including banning China-made mobile phone apps and revoking tenders with Chinese companies.
This morning the Home Ministry told Parliament no infiltration had been reported along the LAC (Line of Actual Control, the de facto border with China) in the past six months. However, this seemed to contradict Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who yesterday said China had made attempts in mid-May.
Mr Gandhi has been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government.
On Tuesday he tweeted after the Defence Minister’s statement, urging him to “not be afraid of taking China’s name“. Earlier this year he accused the Prime Minister of “surrendering” to the Chinese and has since frequently alleged that the government is trying to mislead the people on this issue.
India and China have been engaged in a serious border stand-off since skirmishes were reported from the Pangong Lake region in Ladakh in May.
Multiple talks at different levels – from military to ministerial – have, so far, failed to defuse the situation. The Foreign Ministers of the two countries met in Moscow last week and drew up a five-point plan to resolve the prolonged issue.