Video Producer/Editor: Shohini Bose
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in a direct attack on the central government, on Monday, 6 March, said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar “does not understand the China threat. He was speaking to one of the members of the Indian Journalist’s Association in London.
When asked about military threats facing India, the former Congress president said, “You have to deal with military threats militarily. But you have to understand the nature of the threat, and you have to respond to the nature of the threat. I had one conversation with the foreign minister in my view, he doesn't understand the threat.”
Asserting that the government “does not understand the actual threat from China, Rahul said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “nobody has entered India territory” is an invitation to China to do it again.
“The Prime Minister stating that nobody has entered our territory demonstrates that he does not understand the threat because the message to China with that statement is you can do it again," he said.
'Congress Does Not Accept Anybody Entering Our Territory and Bullying Us': Rahul Gandhi
“The Prime Minister himself has stated that nobody has entered India, not a single inch of land has been taken, and this destroyed our negotiation position because our negotiators are being asked what's the fuss about," Rahul Gandhi added.
On being asked about the Congress’ policy on China, he said that the party does not accept anybody “entering our territory and bullying us.”
“It does not matter who they are, that’s not acceptable to us. What has happened is that the Chinese entered our territory and killed our soldiers, and the prime minister has denied it.”
Jaishankar had earlier hit out at Rahul Gandhi, who has been targeting the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre over China’s aggression in eastern Ladakh along the LAC, saying that the Opposition party “should have the honesty to look at what happened in 1962.”
'Who Is Playing Footsie With History': EAM Jaishankar
"When did that area actually come under Chinese control? The Chinese first came there in 1958 and captured it in October 1962. Now you are going to blame the Modi government in 2023 for a bridge which the Chinese captured in 1962, and you don't have the honesty to say that it is where it happened," Jaishankar told news agency ANI.
On being asked about Rahul’s claim that PM Modi is dismissive on the China issue, Jaishankar said that it was Narendra Modi who sent the Indian Army to the LAC, not Rahul Gandhi.
"Today, we have the largest peacetime deployment on the China border in our history. We are keeping troops there at a huge cost with great effort. We have increased our infrastructure spending on the border five times in this government. Now tell me who is defensive and accommodative. Who is telling the truth and who is playing footsie with history?" the External Affairs Minister added.