Curated By: Sanstuti Nath
Last Updated: August 25, 2023, 12:30 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre is ‘lying’ about the China issue and asserted that the neighboring country has encroached on Indian land. While addressing a public rally in Kargil, the Congress leader noted that PM Modi, in the opposition meeting, said that not even an inch of Ladakh has been taken by China.
“Ladakh is a strategic location…One thing is very clear China has taken away India’s land…It is sad that the PM in the opposition meeting said that not even an inch of Ladakh has been taken by China. This is a lie,” Gandhi said.
“Ladakh doesn’t have scarcity of solar energy, and the people of BJP know this. This is a matter of land and they want to take away your land,” he added.
The Congress leader’s statement came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting in Johannesburg where both leaders agreed to intensify efforts to de-escalate tensions at the disputed border between them and bring home thousands of their troops deployed there, according to an official from India’s foreign ministry.
Gandhi further claimed that the people of Ladakh told him that their political voice was being muzzled.
“You might have become a Union Territory, but you are being deprived of your rights. You told me that the promises of employment made to you were false,” he said.
Talking about Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra, which he led from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, Gandhi said the party’s aim was to take a stand against the hatred being spread by BJP-RSS.
“The message that came out of the Yatra was-‘nafrat ke bazaar mein hum mohabbat ki dukaan kholne nikle hain’. In the last few days, I got to see this myself. At the time of the Yatra, I could not visit Ladakh due to snow in winter. It was in my heart to conduct the yatra in Ladakh and I took it forward this time on a motorbike,” he said.
Further taking a veiled jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Wayanad MP said that while “other leaders are busy doing their ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I thought of listening to your ‘Mann Ki Baat’.”
“One thing is quite clear – Gandhi Ji and Congress’ ideology is in Ladakh’s blood and DNA,” he added.
Rahul reached Ladakh on August 17, his first visit to the region since it was granted UT status after being carved out from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was also turned into a Union Territory with its special status under Article 370 revoked.
Over the past one week, Rahul has gone round almost all famous places including Pangong lake, Nubra valley, Khardungla top, Lamayuru and Zanskar on his motorcycle before reaching Kargil on Thursday.