'Dragon in the room': Opposition's swipe at Centre over Ladakh standoff

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The Opposition parties are attacking the government over the border standoff with China. Leading the charge is Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who has accused the government of hiding the truth.

“Everyone knows the reality of the borders, but the thought is good to keep one’s heart happy,” he said in a tweet in Hindi, improvising on Ghalib’s couplet to attack home minister Amit Shah on Monday.

On Tuesday, he responded to defence minister Rajnath Singh, who had earlier attacked Gandhi and the Congress party.

“Once RM is done commenting on the hand symbol, can he answer: Have the Chinese occupied Indian territory in Ladakh?” Gandhi tweeted.

Once RM is done commenting on the hand symbol, can he answer:

Have the Chinese occupied Indian territory in Ladakh?

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 9, 2020

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also asked the defence minister to answer the question, saying denigrating party symbols of opposition is not defending India.

“Denigrating Party Symbols of Opposition isn’t same as ‘Defending India’. Will Rajnath Singh ji answer the simple question posed by Sh Rahul Gandhi,” Surjewala asked on Twitter.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) too joined the Congress in attacking the Centre on the issue. “Respected @AmitShah Ji, Bengal has not heard you speak during these times of crisis, but we hope today you would take a minute to answer this: Are the Chinese occupying our territory or not?” the TMC’s youth wing president Abhishek Banerjee said ahead of home minister Amit Shah’s virtual rally for the people of West Bengal.

Respected @AmitShah Ji, Bengal has not heard you speak during these times of crisis, but we hope today you would take a minute to answer this:

"Are the Chinese occupying our territory or not?"

"চীন আমাদের ভূমির অংশ দখল করছে কি না?"

— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) June 9, 2020

In the rally, Shah accused the TMC government of indulging in violence and sought a change in the state.

The latest to join the Opposition chorus is PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti. Iltija handles her mother’s Twitter account where she tweeted: “When Pulwama happened, GOI retaliated with ‘surgical air strikes’. Here China is on the cusp of altering territorial status quo & oddly enough its become the ‘elephant’(read dragon)in the room. Obsequious surrender?”

When Pulwama happened, GOI retaliated with ‘surgical air strikes’. Here China is on the cusp of altering territorial status quo & oddly enough its become the ‘elephant’(read dragon)in the room. Obsequious surrender?

— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) June 9, 2020

The standoff has been continuing in the Ladakh area for more than a month. A meeting between top military officers of both India and China was held on Saturday. Though the meeting ended without a breakthrough, China’s foreign ministry later said that there was consensus that the differences should not turn into disputes.

India has boosted its troop presence in the northern area, matching China in numbers and resources. Home minister Amit Shah, while addressing a virtual rally for the people of Bihar, said that India’s defence policy has gained global acceptance. He said that the whole world agrees that after USA and Israel if there is any other country that is able to protect its borders, it is India.

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