New Delhi, June 20: The Congress on Saturday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow ‘raj dharma’ and rise to the challenge of protecting the territorial integrity of the country, and clarify to China that Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh “is, was and will always be” an integral part of India.
The opposition party also accused the prime minister’s office (PMO) of making a “lame attempt to obfuscate the truth” and belittling the gravity of the situation along the LAC after it issued a clarification on PM Modi’s comments that no one entered Indian territory.
“After the prime minister’s statement yesterday, China has dared to claim the entire Galwan Valley as its own. Galwan valley is Indian territory and it will remain an integral part of Mother India. We urge the PM not to fear and give China a befitting reply by clarifying to it once and for all that Galwan Valley is and will always be an inseparable part of India,” the Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a video message.
Earlier in the day, he said the Prime Minister’s Office and the government need to clearly state their position after the PMO described as “mischievous interpretation” the criticism of the prime minister’s remarks at the all-party meeting that no one has entered Indian territory or captured any military post while referring to the Galwan Valley clash in eastern Ladakh.
“If Chinese troops are present in Galwan valley, does it not amount to intrusion into and occupation of Indian territory? Also, why is the government silent on intrusions in the Pangong Tso area,” Surjewala asked in a statement.
He said the PMO’s statement “belittles the gravity of the situation” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The Congress spokesperson said security experts and satellite imagery have confirmed not only one intrusion on June 15, but several intrusions into and occupation of Indian territory in the Ladakh area.
“We sincerely urge upon the prime minister to follow ‘Raj Dharma’ and rise to the challenge of protecting national security and territorial integrity,” he said.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) earlier said the focus of Modi’s remarks at the meeting on Friday was the events of June 15 at Galwan that led to the loss of lives of 20 Indian military personnel.
“The prime minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces,” it said.
“The words of the prime minister ‘those who tried to transgress our land were taught a befitting lesson by our brave sons of the soil’, succinctly summed up the ethos and the values of our armed forces,” the PMO said.
Surjewala also asked if there was no other intrusion into Indian territory, how were the Chinese present “in large numbers” or why was the restoration of “status quo ante” being demanded or “disengagement” and “early resolution” being sought by India.
“If Chinese troops are not present in Indian territory, why is the MEA harping on disengagement and de-escalation as late as on June 17, 2020,” he asked. (PTI)