China Not Giving Up on 'Unauthorised Occupation' of Indian Territory, Says Congress Party
PM Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have denied claims that the PLA has "encroached" on Indian territory after deadly clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June 2020. Last February, Singh said that the PLA's attempts to transgress into India were "detected and appropriately responded to by our armed forces".
India's federal opposition Congress party has accused China of not giving up on the "unauthorised occupation" of Indian territory in the Ladakh region, in spite of several rounds of talks.
The Congress party described the Chinese "encroachment" of Indian territory as "intolerable".
The Ladakh border dispute remains unresolved despite 15 rounds of "Corps Commander"-level talks having been held since May 2020, when the standoff began.
So far, the Indian and the People's Liberation Armies (PLA) have "disengaged" their troops from three friction points — Galwan Valley, Gogra Post, and Pangong Tso Lake.
Reports in Indian media claim that Chinese troops have been stationed well inside India's perceived LAC in at least two areas — Hot Springs and Depsang Plains, a charge that India's political leadership has rejected.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the latter's brief visit to Delhi this March that the border dispute "cannot be reconciled with a normal relationship between two neighbours" and urged for "expending" the "de-escalation" process from the remaining friction points.
The federal opposition further slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government over its "lack of accountability" on the ongoing India-China border dispute in eastern Ladakh.
"The lack of accountability of the BJP government and the evasive silence of the Prime Minister on this entire affair is a matter of grave concern for the country", Congress said in its "Nav Sankalp" (new promise) declaration released on Tuesday.
"This is a direct challenge to India's territorial integrity. The BJP government's lack of coherence and cogent strategy on this critical matter of national security is unacceptable", read the statement, thus contradicting the official line of the Indian government.
The Nav Sankalp declaration was released after a three-day brainstorming session of the Congress leadership in Udaipur city in western Rajasthan state.
The Nav Sankalp introspection meeting deliberated on an overarching political strategy to defeat the BJP in the 2024 federal election.
Besides criticising the security situation at the China border, the Congress party also slammed the "rising unemployment and inflation" in the South Asian country as well "communal polarisation" between Hindus and Muslims in the nation.
The party accused the BJP of "manufacturing" incidents of "communal polarisation" in the society to "distract" attention from its economic and security policy failures, which it says included the Ladakh border dispute.
The meeting was organised as the Congress party lost successive state elections this year, after having lost the 2014 and 2019 federal elections.
In 2019, the Congress party sent just 53 MPs to the lower 543-member house of the parliament, its worst tally since the country gained independence in 1947.
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