Ladakh MP delivers biting response to Rahul Gandhi on China-occupied territory

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Ladakh lawmaker Jamyang Tsering Namgyal has waded into the political back-and-forth between the opposition and the ruling BJP-led government over the India-China border row with a sharp comeback to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Namgyal, responding to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet asking the government to spell out if the Chinese had occupied Indian territory in Ladakh, replied in the affirmative. But this, he said, had happened in the years that the Congress was in power at the Centre. Starting from 38,000 sq km of Aksai Chin in eastern Ladakh seized by China in the 1962 war.

 

 

The 34-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker went on to cite three occasions over the 12 years when, according to Namgyal, China had occupied Indian territory.

“I hope @RahulGandhi and @INCIndia will agree with my reply based on facts and hopefully they won’t try to mislead again,” he tweeted along with his list of territories that had been occupied by China.

The Ladakh MP had shot to fame last year after he delivered an impassioned speech in parliament that underscored how his constituency had been neglected for decades by successive governments that ruled Jammu and Kashmir. Namgyal’s speech put the spotlight on Ladakh, a region that had traditionally been relegated to the background in most debates over the erstwhile state’s special status.

Namgyal’s rebuttal to Rahul Gandhi comes at a time the opposition has amped up its attacks on the government over some media reports that claimed Chinese troops had entered inside Indian territory during the ongoing standoff.

Gandhi, however, continued to target the government. On Wednesday morning, he aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The Chinese have walked in and taken our territory in Ladakh. Meanwhile The PM is absolutely silent and has vanished from the scene,” he tweeted.

Gandhi’s fresh attack on Wednesday comes even as Chinese troops at the four standoff points in Ladakh have started thinning out. A Major General-level meeting is also scheduled between the two sides to work out the mechanics of scaling down troops on both sides of the Line of Actual Control.