Sunday, January 29, 2023

Kharge attacks BJP on border face-off

Says BJP govt ‘talks like a lion outside, acts like a mouse within’

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday alleged that the BJP government “talks like a lion outside the country, but is acting like a mouse within” as it is unable to take on China for indulging in incursions along the border and is running away from a debate on the issue in Parliament.
Speaking at a rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he also claimed that while the Congress stood for the country and helped attain Independence after its leaders gave supreme sacrifices, “not even a dog of the BJP was lost” for the country.
Kharge accused the BJP of dividing the people of the country on lines of religion, caste and region and alleged that it was ending democracy and autonomy of constitutional institutions, against which the Congress was taking out the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“The Modi government claims that they are very strong and pat themselves claiming no one can look into their eyes, but disputes and clashes are rising at the border. After 20 of our soldiers were martyred at the border in Galwan, Modi ji met Chinese president 18 times. They held meetings and even had swings. After all this, why is it happening at the border with China?” he said.
Kharge said he again raised the issue of China in Parliament and wanted a discussion on the border situation, but the BJP government is not ready for it.
“They talk like a lion outside, but their actions if you see are like a mouse. We want that the issue be discussed and give notices, but they are still not ready for a discussion in Parliament,” he said.
“Has even your dog died for the country, still they claim to be patriots and if we say something we are termed as deshdrohi (anti-nationals),” the Congress chief said, alleging that the BJP is trying to finish democracy and the Constitution.
That is why Rahul Gandhi is holding this Bharat Jodo Yatra and is trying to unite everyone, he claimed.
Kharge said it was surprising that our demand for a discussion on the Chinese incursions at the border was not allowed.
“They said there is no need for a discussion.”
“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh came and gave a one page statement and left. But we needed a discussion on what is happening with China, what the government is doing and what is the state of our border and soldiers.
“We in the Congress are with the country and for national security, and we will all together protect the country. But why are you hiding and running away from a discussion with China,” he said, adding that the Congress is only seeking information on what is happening.
“This government is ending democracy. The autonomy of institutions are being reduced. The investigative agencies are being misused. They are also trying to threaten the Congress,” he alleged.
“This government of the BJP is trying to divide the people on the basis of religion, caste and language. That is why the yatra is getting good support from the public. Whenever Rahul ji says something, the BJP has problems with,” he claimed.
The 80-year-old leader said when Rahul Gandhi talked about the border dispute with China, BJP leaders raised the matter alleging that “Rahul ji is trying to break the country and that he has no respect for our soldiers”.
Earlier in the day, Kharge raised the issue of border conflict with China in the in Rajya Sabha and demanded a discussion on the issue.
“China is illegally encroaching upon our borders. Satellite imagery shows that they are building divisional headquarters, army garrison and weapon shelters for artillery. “Why is the Modi government shying away from ‘China pe charcha’?” he asked on Twitter.

EAM takes on Rahul; objects to use of term ‘pitai’ for jawans
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday strongly objected to the use of the term “pitai” (beating) by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while referring to the India-China clash in Tawang, and asserted that our soldiers have stood their ground in Yangtse in Arunachal Pradesh and should be “appreciated and honoured”.
There is no problem with political criticism of the government’s actions, Jaishankar said, but objected to “direct or indirect” criticism of the soldiers guarding the country’s frontiers.
His remarks during the debate on the Anti Maritime Piracy Bill in the Lok Sabha were in response to Gandhi’s allegations in Jaipur last week that China had taken away 2,000 square kilometres of Indian territory, killed 20 Indian soldiers, and was “beating our jawans in Arunachal Pradesh”.“The word ‘pitai’ (beating) should not be used for our jawans…This is not something that is appropriate,” he said.
There is no problem with political differences or criticism of the government’s action,”but, I think we should not directly or indirectly criticise our jawans. When our jawans are standing in Yangtse at 13,000 feet, defending our borders, they do not deserve the word ‘pitai’,” he said.
Taking a dig at Gandhi, Jaishankar said he has heard remarks that he needed to deepen his understanding of global developments.
“I have heard that my own understanding needs to be deepened. When I see who is giving the advice I can only bow and respect,” the external affairs minister said.
Gandhi had also hit out at Jaishankar, saying he keeps making remarks but needs to “deepen his understanding.”
Jaishankar also disapproved of the Congress’ criticism of the government’s celebrations over India’s G-20 Presidency.
“This is a moment when the world is looking for Indian leadership. When the world values India’s leadership. Just because something is rotational does not mean you are not valued,” he said.
Participating in the debate, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that India’s Presidency of the G-20 was being “propagated in a manner to glamourise an individual and a government.”
“I don’t know the significance of this kind of propaganda because .. as a system of rotation we have been entrusted to host G-20,” Chowdhury said.
Jaishankar also appeared to be surprised by Chowdhury’s remarks that the government was indifferent towards China.
“If we were indifferent to China then who sent the Indian Army to defend our posts? If we were indifferent to China then why are we pressurising China for de-escalation and disengagement? Why are we saying publicly that our relations are not normal,” Jaishankar said.

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