India-China dispute: Congress accuses government of ‘surrender’, ‘appeasement’

Party criticises government over ‘meagre’ and ‘insignificant’ increase in defence budget, calling it a 'betrayal’ of the country

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Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi, AK Antony and other party MPs. The former defence minister called on the government to take the nation into confidence on national security matters. PTI photo

The Congress on Sunday accused the government of “surrender” and “appeasement” by agreeing to pull back forces from the Line of Actual Control with China.

Disengagement in Galwan Valley and Pangong Tso areas and the creation of a buffer zone between Indian and Chinese forces represent a “surrender” of India’s rights, Congress leader AK Antony said at a press conference in New Delhi.

The former defence minister also criticised the Modi government over “meagre” and “insignificant” increase in the defence budget this year, calling it a “betrayal” of the country.

Antony said the government was not giving priority to national security at a time when China was getting belligerent and Pakistan continued to promote terrorism.


“Both disengagements in Galwan and Pangong Tso are a surrender,” he said. “We are surrendering our rights.

“Disengagement and buffer zone means surrender of our land at the moment.”

Antony said the status of the Galwan Valley as Indian territory had never been in dispute.

“We want to know from this government when there will be status quo ante as on mid-April 2020 in the entire India-China border,” he said.

He also said that the government must take the country and the people into confidence on matters of national security.

“To appease China, the government sent a message by not increasing this defence budget. To appease China, we have agreed to disengagement on China’s terms,” he said.

“The government has let down our armed forces. The government is not paying proper attention of national security.”

Also read: India, China agree on disengagement. This is how it will be carried out

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that there had been a breakthrough in talks to resolve the nine-month military standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

A day earlier, China’s defence ministry had said that Chinese and Indian troops on the southern and northern shores of Pangong Tso had begun “synchronised and organised disengagement”, in line with the consensus reached between corps commanders on January 24.