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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Congress mocks Narendra Modi’s ‘Chinese guarantee’ ahead of parliamentary elections

'Despite at least 19 rounds of one-on-one talks between Modi and his Chinese counterpart since 2014, government has failed to ensure status quo ante before 2020', says Mallikarjun Kharge

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 21.03.24, 05:35 AM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File picture

The Congress has raised questions about China, wondering when the status quo ante on the Ladakh border would be restored, in an obvious attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Referring to the public uprising in Ladakh, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said: “On one hand, the Modi government has put our territorial integrity and national security at risk, and on the other hand, it is attacking the constitutional rights of our own citizens of Ladakh. Despite at least 19 rounds of one-on-one talks between Modi and his Chinese counterpart since 2014, the government has failed to ensure
the status quo ante before 2020. China continues to occupy Indian territory at the Depsang Plains, Hot Springs and Gogra regions.”

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Describing Modi’s guarantee as “Chinese guarantee”, Kharge said: “In Ladakh, there is a strong wave of public support, with unified calls for protections for tribal communities under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. But like all other guarantees, ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ to assure constitutional rights to the people of Ladakh remains a colossal betrayal. It is nothing but fake and Chinese in nature. The Modi government wants to exploit the eco-sensitive Himalayan glaciers of Ladakh and benefit its crony friends.”

Party communications chief Jairam Ramesh said: “By giving a public clean chit to China, the Prime Minister has tied his own hands and failed to take action and restore the status quo after Chinese aggression.... Why have we not been more aggressive and made counter-intrusions that can hold the line and compel the Chinese to withdraw fully as we did in 1986 and 2013?”

Ramesh pointed out how Indian soldiers’ access to the Depsang Plains had been curtailed and wondered why business continued unimpeded despite Chinese aggression on the border. “India’s share of imports from China before 2014 was around 11 per cent. Since then, it has risen rapidly, averaging around 15 per cent in the last few years. The proportion of imports from China has swollen even as the value of these imports has increased, and it has cost our domestic industries tremendously.”

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