Wednesday, April 24

Congress Blasts Modi Government Over ‘Weak Response To China Renaming Arunachal Places’

New Delhi, April 2: The Congress today blasted the central government for ‘its weak and meek response’ to China renaming 30 places in Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The party also condemned the disinformation campaign launched by this government against former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi on the issue of Katchatheevu island saying it is ridiculous to imagine that the Prime Minister who changed the geography of South Asia, would give any territorial concessions to any other country.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here today, senior party leader and national Spokesperson Manish Tewari said that it is sad and regrettable that those who have been espousing “misplaced muscularity” about Katchatheevu are scared of even uttering the word ‘China’.

He said, the strange statement of the Foreign Minister S Jaishankar only shows the weakness of the government. “Such a weak and meek response from the Foreign Minister over China’s cartographic aggression does not behove the government of India”, he observed.

Tewari said, the government of India has consistently and continuously shown weak-kneed approach towards China, pointing out, even after about four years of Galwan intrusion, the government of India is yet to come out with any response and clarification.

He pointed out, the then SSP Leh had in January 2023 presented a research paper in the annual conference DGPs/IGPs and given in writing that out of 65 joint patrolling posts, India did not have access to 26 and these were under Chinese occupation. “One and a half years have passed and the government has not reacted about what a senior officer of the government revealed”, he pointed out, asking why such silence when it comes to China.

He disclosed that despite the opposition parties raising the matter on several occasions in both the houses of parliament, neither the Prime Minister nor the Foreign Minister uttered a single word about Chinese intrusion.

“What bigger proof can be there that this government is not sensitive about India’s unity and integrity?” he asked.

Taking a jibe at the government for trying to malign the former Prime Minister late Mrs Indira Gandhi about Katchatheevu, he said, nothing can be more ridiculous than even to think that a Prime Minister who divided Pakistan into two parts and did not care about the threats from the United States and other western powers, would concede any territory to any other country.

He warned the BJP against dragging the issues of national security into politics for their narrow and vested electoral interests. “Don’t bring the national security within the realms of partisan politics”, he warned the BJP.

The former union minister asked the BJP government to tell the country as how much land of India is under the control of China since May 2020 and why the government did not get it vacated. He made it categorically clear that “deflections and distortions won’t work”.

Questioning the Prime Minister’s leadership on such a sensitive matter, Tewari in an oblique reference, quoted a popular Urdu couplet, “tu idhar udhar ki na baat karr, yeh batta ki kafila kyu luta…, Mujhe rehzanoon se gilla nahi, teri rehabari ka sawaal hai…(Don’t make excuses, just explain how the caravan got looted. I am not concerned about the looters, but it is a question of your existence (leadership).)”

India’s response

India has earlier called China’s move a “senseless attempt”. The official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, Randhir Jaiswal, responded to the media queries on China renaming places of Arunachal Pradesh. He called Beijing’s move as a “senseless attempt”, and “firmly reject” the move.

He reaffirmed that Arunachal Pradesh remains an integral part India. He said assigning invented names to the region will not change anything and Arunachal Pradesh “is, has been, and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India”.

On Monday, China released a list of 30 new names for various places in Arunachal Pradesh. It is the fourth list released by Beijing. Despite the strong opposition from India, China continues the release. The MEA S. Jaishankar assured that Arunachal Pradesh will remain as part of India. He said, “If I change the name of your house, will it become mine? Arunachal Pradesh was an Indian state and will remain so in the future. Nothing will be gained by changing names”.