NEW DELHI: NEW DELHI: As the stand-off continues at Sikkim with China over a disputed territory in Bhutan, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi held secret meetings with the ambassadors of the two neighboring countries.
And for the record I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India pic.twitter.com/THG4sULJJC— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) July 10, 2017
However, later on, Rahul defended his meeting by saying “it is his job to be informed on critical issues”. The Congress scion is believed to have met the ambassadors of China and Bhutan.
Later in the day, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese Ambassador, Ex-NSA, Congress leaders from NE and the Bhutanese Ambassador’.
It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese Ambassador, Ex-NSA, Congress leaders from NE & the Bhutanese Ambassador— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) July 10, 2017
If Govt is so concerned abt me meeting an Amb,they shld explain why 3Ministers are availing Chinese hospitality while the border issue is on pic.twitter.com/4FCuu9SiAe— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) July 10, 2017
Controversy erupted early in the day when the Chinese embassy’s website referred to Rahul Gandhi conferring with the Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui on Saturday (July 8) and highlighting that they discussed “current Sino-India relations”.
But, soon after it, the Chinese embassy deleted its post.
Rahul Gandhi further tweeted that, “If government is so concerned about me meeting an Ambassador, they should explain why three ministers are availing Chinese hospitality while the border issue is on.”
Rahul also put out a picture of Modi on the swing with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s visit to Gujarat in 2014, and said, “For the record, I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India.”
Downplaying the meetings, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala called them a “courtesy call” and said “envoys of neighboring countries” met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the vice-president from “time to time”.
“The Congress leader also met envoys of G5 - a group that consists of China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, apart from India.” he said.
The Congress did a flip- flop earlier in the day when they denied the meeting completely by tweeting that the news about Gandhi meeting the Chinese envoy was “planted” by government agencies through “bhakt channels”.
Surjewala said the party vice president and other opposition leaders were “fully aware of national interests” and were concerned about the “grave situation” on the India-China border as well as “the situation arising in Bhutan and Sikkim”.