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Galwan valley clashes: EAM Jaishankar, Congress spar over ‘unarmed’ soldiers

The war of words between the government and Congress comes after 20 Indian soldiers were killed on June 15 in the Galwan Valley area in Ladakh in the worst ever faceoff with Chinese troops.

Published: 19th June 2020 02:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2020 11:47 AM   |  A+A-

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishnakar hit out at Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi for his questions over why troops on the border were unarmed.

“How dare China kill our UNARMED soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent UNARMED to martyrdom?” Gandhi questioned in a tweet.

In response, Jaishankar tweeted: “Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs.”

Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy also hit out at Gandhi saying, “Rahul Gandhi doesn’t understand local, national or international issues therefore there is no need to reply to his questions. He has totally failed and is irrelevant in Indian politics.”

The war of words between the government and Congress comes after 20 Indian soldiers were killed on June 15 in the Galwan Valley area in Ladakh in the worst ever faceoff with Chinese troops along the LAC.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sought to corner the government over a contract for a key infrastructure project awarded to a Chinese company amid the border tension.

“Our 20 soldiers have been martyred. In such a situation, the central government should give a strong message, but it has adopted the strategy of kneeling down and has awarded the contract of Delhi-Meerut Semi-High Speed Rail Corridor to a Chinese company. All Indian companies are also capable to build this corridor,” she tweeted in Hindi.

Congress spokesperson R S Surjewala also lashed out at Jaishankar.

“Stop quoting Agreement on Border Management to justify sending Soldiers Unarmed in tactical military situation with lives at stake,” he tweeted.

BJP postpones virtual rallies

The BJP has postponed all its political programmes including virtual rallies for the next two days as a homage to the martyrs.

The BJP is holding virtual rallies to commemorate the anniversary of the NDA government.

Leaders and Union ministers are connecting with workers through virtual rallies.

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