INC politician Rahul Gandhi had on 9 June asked Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh whether China had occupied Indian territory in Ladakh. “Once RM (Raksha Mantri) is done commenting on the hand symbol, can he answer: Have the Chinese occupied Indian territory in Ladakh?” Rahul Gandhi had asked on Twitter,
Following the loaded query of the former INC president aimed at the defence minister, Ladakh BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal took to Twitter today.
Namgyal replied in the affirmative. But the incursion, he said, had happened in the years that the INC was in power at the Centre — starting with the Chinese annexation of 38,000 sq km of Aksai Chin in eastern Ladakh in the 1962 war.
The 34-year-old BJP MP went on to cite three occasions over the 12 years when, according to him, China had occupied Indian territory. “I hope @RahulGandhi and @INCIndia will agree with my reply based on facts and hopefully they won’t try to mislead again,” he tweeted along with his list of territories that had been occupied by China.
The Ladakh MP had shot to fame last year after he delivered an impassioned speech in parliament that underscored how his constituency had been neglected for decades by successive governments that ruled Jammu and Kashmir. Namgyal’s speech put the spotlight on Ladakh, a region that had traditionally been relegated to the background in most debates over the former state of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Namgyal’s rebuttal to Rahul Gandhi coincides with the opposition’s attacks on the government over some media reports that claimed Chinese troops had entered inside Indian territory during the ongoing standoff.
Gandhi, however, continued to target the government. This morning, he aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Chinese have walked in and taken our territory in Ladakh. Meanwhile The PM is absolutely silent and has vanished from the scene,” he tweeted.
Gandhi’s fresh attack on Wednesday comes even as Chinese troops at the four standoff points in Ladakh have started thinning out. A Major General-level meeting is also scheduled between the two sides to work out the mechanics of scaling down troops on both sides of the Line of Actual Control.
On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi alleged again that China has taken away India’s territory in Ladakh and questioned the prime minister’s silence on the issue, saying he has vanished.