New Delhi, June 19: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused senior ministers in the government of “lying” to protect the prime minister and that the Centre was “fast asleep” while martyred jawans paid the price in Ladakh.
“It’s sad to see senior GOI ministers reduced to lying in order to protect the PM. Don’t insult our martyrs with your lies,” he tweeted using the hashtag BJPBetraysOurJawans’.
Gandhi also tagged a one-minute video of a jawan’s father saying the Indian soldiers were unarmed when they were attacked by Chinese troops.
The Congress leader’s attack on the Union ministers comes after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar rebutted him saying all Indian troops guarding the border with China carry arms.
Jaishankar was replying to Gandhi’s poser on why Army personnel in Galwan Valley were sent “unarmed to martyrdom”.
“It’s now crystal clear that: The Chinese attack in Galwan was pre-planned. GOI was fast asleep and denied the problem. The price was paid by our martyred Jawans,” Gandhi earlier said on Twitter.
He had also tagged a report quoting Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik saying the attack was pre-planned by China and the Indian forces would give a befitting reply.
Gandhi’s remarks also come ahead of an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening to discuss the situation along the India-China border.
Twenty Indian Army personnel, including a colonel, were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff in the region.
Gandhi has been questioning the government on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) stand off and asking how the Chinese occupied Indian territory and why Indian soldiers were sent “unarmed to martyrdom” in Ladakh.
The external affairs minister on Thursday said armies of the two sides do not use firearms as per provisions of bilateral agreements sealed in 1996 and 2005.
“Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so,” Jaishankar said on Twitter.
He also said there was a long-standing practice between the two countries of not resorting to use of firearms in faceoffs in view of the two agreements of 1996 and 2005.
Hitting out at the incident, Gandhi, in a video message, had said, “China has committed a big crime by killing unarmed Indian soldiers. I want to ask who sent these bravehearts towards danger without arms and why. Who is responsible for this?
“How dare China kill our UNARMED soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent UNARMED to martyrdom,” he added. (PTI)