Has China occupied Indian territory in Ladakh? Rahul asks Rajnath Singh

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New Delhi: The war of words between the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the alleged Chinese intrusion in Ladakh escalated on Tuesday, with Rahul Gandhi asking defence minister Rajnath Singh whether China has occupied Indian territory.

“Once RM (Raksha Mantri – defence minister) is done commenting on the hand symbol, can he answer: Have the Chinese occupied Indian territory in Ladakh,” the former Congress chief asked on Twitter.

Singh had on Monday hit out at the Congress party with a couplet of the famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, saying, “Haath me dard ho to dawa kije, haath hi jab dard ho to kya kije (when there is pain in the hand, one takes medicine, but what does one do when the hand itself is a pain).”

“Hand” is the election symbol of the Congress party.

Singh’s attack was in response to Gandhi’s swipe at home minister Amit Shah over the alleged Chinese intrusion in Ladakh. Gandhi had said “everyone knows the reality” of the situation at the borders.

Gandhi had tweaked a couplet by Ghalib to attack Shah. “Everyone knows the reality of the borders, but ‘Shah-yad’ (maybe) it’s a good idea to keep oneself happy,” he tweeted in Hindi.

“The media is muzzled and terrified. The truth seems dormant. But it flows in the blood of every single Indian army officer and soldier. They know exactly what is happening in Ladakh,” Gandhi said in another tweet.

His remarks came against the backdrop of the Congress stepping up its criticism of the government on the border standoff between India and China, asking it to come clean on the presence of Chinese forces in Ladakh.

Beijing said on Monday the two sides had reached consensus on preventing differences from escalating into disputes during weekend talks between top army commanders.

Addressing a virtual rally in Bihar on Sunday, Shah said India’s defence policy has gained global acceptance and the world agrees that after the US and Israel, if there is any other country able to protect its borders, it is India.

The Congress had earlier questioned the government’s silence on the “brazen Chinese transgression” into the Indian territory, and asked it to take all political parties and the country into confidence over restoring the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

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