Congress's Prithviraj Chavan said there were divergent views on Galwan valley incident
Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Friday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that his remark that "nobody intruded into Indian territory" has made him popular in China.
Addressing a press conference, the former Maharashtra chief minister alleged PM Modi's "no intrusion" remark, however, demoralised India's armed forces. Twenty soldiers laid down their lives for India after a violent face-off with Chinese soldiers at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh earlier this month.
During an all-party meeting held last week, PM Modi had said neither is anyone inside Indian territory nor has any Indian post been captured. Referring to PM Modi's comments, Mr Chavan said, "China praised the Indian PM for his statement and he has become popular in that country."
"We are concerned over the Chinese intrusion in Galwan valley and are proud of our jawans stationed at the borders. Protecting the borders and preventing intrusion is the main responsibility of the government. Congress has been raising this issue but the government had neglected it," he said.
Mr Chavan alleged there were divergent views on the Galwan valley incident even within the government. "The Foreign Minister admitted the presence of Chinese soldiers and construction activities along the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). But at the all-party meeting, Modi said that there was no intrusion," Mr Chavan said.
He said former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh asked PM Modi that nothing should be said that would give strength to China.
"He made it clear that it was the duty of the opposition to question the government when the country is facing a crisis and the government should respond adequately," Mr Chavan said.
The Congress leader claimed that as per satellite images, Chinese soldiers were constructing tents within the Indian territory. "Army vehicles and bulldozers are visible in the satellite images. There are 10,000 Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley. We want to know how many times China intruded in Galwan valley and why did Modi say that there was no intrusion? Has India's power to negotiate diminished due to these comments?" Mr Chavan said.