A political war has exploded over China setting up a village in Arunachal Pradesh, revealed in an NDTV report on exclusively accessed satellite images that show construction around 4.5 km within Indian territory of the de facto border between India and China.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today launched a fresh attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, referring in a tweet to his statement last year when he had quoted a song from his biopic.
“Remember his promise- “Main desh ko nahi jhukne dunga” (I won’t let the country bow down),” the Wayanad MP tweeted.
PM Modi, months before the massive escalation with China at Galwan Valley in Ladakh in June last, had addressed a rousing crowd and promised through the song that he would not let the country bow down. The Hindi song translates to, “I swear on this soil, I won’t let the country fade away, I won’t let the country stop, I won’t let the country bow down.”
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju replied to the tweet blaming the incursion on past Congress governments.
“Do look within sometimes, it is easy to blame someone else. Those locations you are referring to have been under Chinese occupation since very-very long Congress regime in India. How can a national leader is ignorant and unaware of sensitive facts?” Mr Rijiju posted.
BJP president JP Nadda also posted a thread attacking Mr Gandhi and the Congress.
“When will Rahul Gandhi, his dynasty and Congress stop lying on China? Can he deny that thousands of kms, including the one in Arunachal Pradesh he is referring to was gifted by none other than Pandit Nehru to the Chinese? Time and again, why does Congress surrender to China,” Mr Nadda said.
When will @RahulGandhi, his dynasty and Congress stop lying on China?
Can he deny that thousands of kms, including the one in Arunachal Pradesh he is referring to was gifted by none other than Pandit Nehru to the Chinese?
Time and again, why does Congress surrender to China?
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) January 19, 2021
NDTV reported on Monday that a village of about 101 homes had been constructed by China at the border in Arunachal Pradesh, as confirmed by satellite images dated November 1, 2020. Though this area is Indian territory, according to official government maps, it has been in effective Chinese control since 1959.
However, earlier only a Chinese military post existed, but this time a full-fledged village that can house thousands has been built. In response to NDTV’s detailed questions, the Foreign Ministry, which was also sent the satellite images, did not challenge what the pictures show.
“We have seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along the border areas with India. China has undertaken such infrastructure construction activity in the past several years,” it said.
The government also said that it keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on the country’s security, and takes necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Several other Opposition leaders, including former finance minister P Chidambaram, demanded answers from the government.
The stand-off in Ladakh with the Chinese, that escalated after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action in June in the Galwan Valley, continues through this winter with thousands of soldiers from both sides deployed on the frontline at extreme altitudes in sub-zero temperatures.
The Prime Minister has on many occasions taken swipes at China without taking names. In November last year, in a subtle but significant jibe at China, he hit out at “expansionist” forces that show a “distorted mindset which belongs to the 18th century”.
He warned such forces against taking advantage of India’s tolerance and said the nation’s soldiers would give a “prachand jawab (fierce reply)” if borders were threatened. PM Modi was speaking to soldiers while spending Diwali with them at Longewala post in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer.