The Congress on Saturday sharpened its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the India-China face-off, accusing him of giving inconsistent statements on the issue. It said the Chinese soldiers have occupied ‘Y’ junction in Ladakh and are very close to Burtse town.
Addressing a virtual press conference, former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal gave the reference of ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu who gave four principles of warfare — subdue the enemy without battle, exploit opponent’s weaknesses, camouflage offence as defence and all warfare is based on deception.
“The Chinese are now using the same tactics with us. They have occupied the bottleneck ‘Y’ junction in Ladakh’s Depsang plains, which is 18 km inside the Indian territory in Ladakh,” Sibal said.
He said Indian soldiers used to patrol the area from the Burtse OP that went on till bottleneck ‘Y’ junction. “And as the bottleneck Y is occupied by Chinese, now we cannot reach our patrol point number 14 and there is no access to that today,” Sibal said.
“I want to ask the Prime Minister, how did this happen?”
“China is now intruding and obstructing Indian patrolling at patrol point numbers 10, 11, 11A, 12, 13,” Sibal said showing the map.
He added that the Chinese forces are now 7 km from Ladakhi town Burtse on the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) road. The Congress leader said that the Y junction is incidentally just 25 km away from the Indian airstrip in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), thus putting it within artillery range.
Stating that the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip was the lifeline for Indian forces in Siachen and Karakoram pass, Sibal said, “If the Chinese are so close then it is dangerous for India as in case of artillery firing our aircraft cannot land at the DBO airstrip.”
Sibal highlighted that the DBO airstrip was made operational during the UPA government in 2013. A total of 230 aircraft landed there due to which Indian soldiers were able to get supplies in Siachen and make the establishment at the LAC stronger.
Attacking Modi, Sibal said, “During the all-party meeting, the Prime Minister said that no one intruded in our country and no Chinese intrusion has happened. But yesterday Indian Ambassador to China in an interview said that India hopes China will realise its responsibility in de-escalation and disengagement by moving back to its side of the LAC.”
“What does this mean. It means that they are still sitting there and the invasion is still there,” Sibal said.
He said that there is inconsistency in the statement of the Prime Minister and the statements by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and two other statements issued by the External Affairs Ministry in the last one month.
Sibal said the Chinese have set up tents and structures at patrol point number 14 in Galwan Valley where 20 Indian Army personnel including a colonel were killed. He claimed that during the UPA rule there was no Chinese incursion from Finger points number 2 to 8.
“And now on finger point, 4 China is making an airstrip. They want us to go to finger point 2,” he added.
Taking a potshot at the RSS, the Congress leader said, “The RSS people have said that we are ready to go to the border to safeguard our land. I want to ask the RSS when they are going to the border and now it is time to show their courage.”
To a question on the interrogation of party treasurer Ahmed Patel by the ED, Sibal said that the government is using diversionary tactics to mislead the people. They are raising the issue of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. These are all diversionary tactics of the BJP. The Prime Minister should take care of China first.