'How did 20 soldiers die if no one entered India's territory?': Congress asks Modi

Congress steps up attack on PM, says he has contradicted his own ministers

PTI2_2_2018_000083A Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal

Stepping up its attack on the prime minister over his statements during the all-party meeting, the opposition Congress on Sunday demanded that Narendra Modi explain whether he had endorsed China's position on the Galwan Valley.

Modi's remarks that no one has entered Indian territory or captured any military post, while referring to the eastern Ladakh standoff, had sparked off a political storm.

"Has not the PM in a way endorsed the Chinese position that they never intruded into our territories? He must explain,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, while addressing a press conference in New Delhi.

Sibal's poser to Modi came even as the Prime Minister's Office had on Saturday issued a clarification, saying Modi's observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces, who foiled an attempt by Chinese troops to transgress into the Galwan Valley.

Unconvinced, the opposition continued its tirade against Modi, saying the prime minister had contradicted his own ministers.

"It is clear that the prime minister's statement of June 19, 2020 is in contradiction of the statements made by the defence minister, foreign affairs minister and Army chief," Sibal said.

He said until the Chinese retreat and status quo is restored, our government should not let up or appear to cede any part of these territories to the Chinese.

Despite the statement of security experts, army generals and satellite imagery depicting Chinese intrusion into Pangong Tso Lake up to nearly 8 km, construction of over 60 permanent structures, including bunkers and boat pads and occupation up to Finger 4, why the government is denying the brazen Chinese transgression, asked the Congress leader.

"And if no one intruded into our territory, how did our 20 soldiers die? How were 85 jawans seriously injured and how were 10 officers and jawans captured by the Chinese? Why does the statement of the External Affairs Ministry dated June 20, 2020, contradict the PM's statement on incursions by the Chinese?," he asked.

Sibal said the Congress party and the entire nation stand solidly behind the government and the armed forces on every step they will take to defend India's territorial integrity. 

"Our territorial integrity will not be compromised under any circumstances. We will repulse every sinister design of China to usurp India's territory,” he said.