NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come out of "hiding" and share the truth of the India-China face-off, saying the entire country is standing behind him.
Questioning the prime minister's silence on the fierce clash between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, he said the country needs to know what has happened and why Modi is silent.
"Why is the Prime Minister silent. Where are you hiding? You should come out, the whole country is standing behind you together. Come out and tell the truth to the country, don't be afraid," Gandhi told the prime minister in a video message.
Twenty Indian Army personnel including a colonel were killed in the clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two.
The former Congress chief, in his message shared on his Twitter account, also saluted the brave martyrs of the country.
He said that two days ago, 20 Indian soldiers were martyred and snatched away from their families and China has snatched India's land and usurped it.
"Why is the PM silent? Why is he hiding? Enough is enough. We need to know what has happened," Gandhi earlier said on Twitter.
"How dare China kill our soldiers? How dare they take our land?" he said.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also asked Prime Minister Modi to show up, saying it is time to stand up to China as it is threatening India's sovereignty.
"Our land, our sovereignty is being threatened, our soldiers and officers have been martyred, are we just going to remain silent?"
"India deserves the truth. It deserves a leadership that is willing to do anything before allowing its land to be taken. Show up Narender Modi ji, it's time to stand up to China," she said in a tweet.
The Army initially said on Tuesday that an officer and two soldiers were killed.
But in a late evening statement it revised the figure to 20, saying 17 others who "were critically injured in the line of duty and exposed to sub-zero temperatures at the standoff location succumbed to their injuries."
Government sources said the Chinese side too suffered "proportionate casualties" but chose not to speculate on the number.
It is the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers, while over 300 Chinese army personnel were killed in the confrontation.