Cong accuses govt of compromising national security, India’s territorial integrity

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) The Congress on Thursday accused the government of compromising national security and India’s territorial integrity and alleged Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has tried to “mislead” on the issue.

Congress chief spokesperson and general secretary Randeep Surjewala alleged the government was disengaging its troops in Ladakh without giving an assurance as to when would there be status quo ante as on April 2020 when unprovoked Chinese incursions into India’s territory and military build-up started.

“Can the prime minister and the defence minister explain their complete and total failure in protecting India’s territorial integrity,” he asked at a press conference.

He said the government has maintained that there has to be complete disengagement and withdrawal of troops by the Chinese in entire Ladakh area.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scared of even uttering the word China, much less ensuring that Chinese are pushed back decisively from illegal occupation of India’s territory in Depsang plains, Gogra-Hot Springs Sector, Pangong Tso Lake Area and Chumur, Southern Ladakh,” Surjewala alleged.

“Defence Minister, on the other hand, seeks to mislead and misinform, without giving full assurance on Chinese withdrawal from India’s territory in aforementioned areas,” he further alleged.

Surjewala also asked why is the government agreeing to a selective disengagement only in Pangong Tso Lake area and that also by “presumably changing the LAC to India’s disadvantage”.

India and China have reached an agreement on disengagement in the north and south bank of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh that mandates both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner, Rajnath Singh announced in Parliament.

The Congress and other opposition parties wanted to seek some clarifications in Rajya Sabha, but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow saying the matter is sensitive and concerns national security.

Surjewala also said there cannot be any blame game on national security, which is above partisan party politics.

Alleging that the BJP is into “false bravado”, he said “they need to answer the questions that people of India seek answers to”.

Surjewala also accused Union minister V K Singh of undermining India’s position by making a statement contrary to national interests and giving a handle to China to unjustifiably paint India as the “aggressor” and asked why the prime minister and the defence minister are silent.