No amount of obfuscation can hide the Modi government’s failed China policy and its attempt to cover up India’s biggest territorial setback in decades, the Congress alleged on Monday (January 30), hitting out at External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, for his recent remarks on the issue.
In a statement, senior Congress leader, Jairam Ramesh, also described the government’s strategy in dealing with the Chinese in Ladakh as “DDLJ – Deny, Distract, Lie and Justify,” and Jaishankar’s remarks an implied cheap shot at former Congress party chief, Rahul Gandhi.
Ramesh said Jaishankar is playing a starring role in Modi government’s ‘DDLJ’.
During an event on Saturday (January 28) in Pune, Jaishankar had said some people deliberately spread wrong news about the China issue. His remarks were viewed as a dig at Gandhi.
“No amount of obfuscation can hide the fact that the Modi government has sought to cover up India’s biggest territorial setback in decades that followed Prime Minister Modi’s naive wooing of (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping),” Congress general secretary, communications, Ramesh said.
“We suggest that Jaishankar and the government spend more time trying to get Chinese troops out of Depsang and Demchok, and less time on blaming the opposition for their own incompetence,” he said.
India lost access to 26 patrolling points in Ladakh: Ramesh
“External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent remarks attacking the Congress are simply the latest attempt to divert attention from the Modi government’s failed China policy, the most recent revelation being that since May 2020, India has lost access to 26 of 65 patrolling points in Ladakh,” he said.
“There is no comparison between 1962, when India went to war with China to defend its territory, and 2020, after which India has “acquiesced to Chinese aggression with denials followed by disengagements in which India has lost access to thousands of square kilometres of territory”, he said.
The Congress leader said that Minister Jaishankar’s implied cheap shot at Rahul for meeting the Chinese ambassador in 2017 is ironic, to say the least, coming from someone who, as ambassador to the US during the Obama administration, presumably met with leading Republicans.
Also read: China wants to reduce India’s influence in Indian Ocean region, say papers submitted at DGPs meet
“Are opposition leaders not entitled to meet diplomats from countries that are important from a trade, investment and security standpoint?” he asked.
Rather, he said, the Modi government should have been “truthful” from the start and taken the Opposition into confidence by discussing the China issue in parliamentary standing committees and debating it in Parliament.
He noted that at the very minimum, it should have held detailed briefings for leaders of major political parties.
Jaishankar accuses opposition of spreading wrong news about China
The external affairs minister, when asked at the Saturday event about some leaders of political parties lacking confidence in India while speaking about China, had said there were some people in the Opposition who had such thinking which he found difficult to understand. Sometimes such people spread wrong news or information about China on purpose, Jaishankar had said, without taking names.
“If you want to ask why they have no confidence, why are they misleading people, why they spread the wrong khabar (news) about China? How can I answer these questions? Because I know they are also doing politics. Sometimes they deliberately spread such news that they know is not true,” he had said while interacting with the audience in Pune in a question-answer session during the launch of Bharat Marg, the Marathi translation of his book, The India Way.
Also read: Air Force to hold massive exercise near LAC amid tension with China
“Sometimes, they talk about some land which was taken by China in 1962. But they will not tell you the truth. They will give you the impression that this thing happened yesterday,” the minister had said.
Jaishankar had also said sometimes some people say there is “soch me kami” (lack of understanding) in him but in that case, he would approach the military leadership, Army, or Intelligence.
“I will not call the Chinese ambassador and seek information,” he said, referring to Rahul’s meeting with him.
Rahul had last September said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given “100 square kilometres of Indian territory” to China “without a fight,” and asked the government how it would be retrieved.
Here is my response to the most recent statements of the External Affairs Minister who is playing a starring role in Modi Sarkar’s version of DDLJ. pic.twitter.com/UMpevHZ5vk
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) January 30, 2023