New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow the ‘raj dharma’ (royal duty), the Congress, here on Saturday, asked him to tell the people truth about Chinese incursion, give its army a befitting reply and force it to back down from illegal occupation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Raising a series of questions over Chinese transgression into the Indian territory, a senior Congress leader, while addressing the media through video link, showed May to June satellite images of Ladakh’s Pangong Tso to pinpoint Chinese structures and asked the Prime Minister to speak truth about that.
Noting that “pictures don’t lie”, Kapil Sibal asked the Prime Minister to tell the nation truth about the latest and the first Chinese occupation of the Indian territory up to Finger 4 Ridge in the Pangong Tso Lake area.
“Is this the Indian territory on which radars, helipads and other structures been set up by the Chinese in a brazen act of transgression,” Sibal asked.
He said the local councillors of Ladakh, including BJP councillors, had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister in February about the capture of our land by China.
“What action did the Prime Minister take? Had he acted, we would have pre-empted the brazen Chinese transgressions. The time warrants India to look into the face of China and tell them to retreat,” said the noted lawyer who headed several ministries in the Congress-led UPA government.
“Mr Prime Minister, this is the ‘raj dharma’ you must follow,” the Congress leader said.
Sibal asked whether China had occupied the Indian territory in the Galwan Valley, including ‘Petrol Point – 14′, where 20 Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice, and also in Hot Springs.
“Has China occupied our territory up to Y-Junction (18 km inside the LAC) in the Depsang Plains, threatening our strategic D.B.O. airstrip, the military supply lifeline to Siachen Glacier and Karakoram Pass,” Sibal said.
On Modi’s Friday visit to Nimu, Leh, Sibal said former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri too had visited the forward locations to boost the soldiers’ morale.
“Did Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru not visit soldiers at forward locations in NEFA in 1962 to boost their morale? It appears that our Prime Minister (Modi) stayed 230 km away in Nimu,” he said.
Modi on a visit to Ladakh on Friday, barely 18 days after a violent stand-off in Galwan Valley, without naming China issued it a clear warning by saying the “age of expansionism is over.”
Addressing the armed forces, he said, “The age of expansionism is over. This is the age of development. History has witnessed that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to retreat.”
Modi’s assertion in the Ladakh region was significant given the tension at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.