By Sushil Kutty
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, when he was Congress vice president, led a party delegation to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi at the height of PLA intrusion into Doklam, and courted controversy, with the party first denying it and then accepting it. It appeared at the time like the Congress was speaking for China than for India’s. Now, months later, the party has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of misleading the nation on Chinese troops occupying the Dokla plateau, accusing them of compromising India’s security and strategic interests.
What are the Congress Party’s intentions? “Satellite imagery and media reports suggest that China has established military establishments in Doklam near Indian borders (sic) which indicates (sic) that India’s security and strategic interests have been compromised,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the other day.
That is surprising because being a major Indian political party, which has ruled India for close to 60 years and was the ruling party when China attacked India in 1962, has chosen to criticise the government of the day without first flaying China for is transgressions and provocations on the LAC.
The Congress reaction came a day after media reported satellite images taken on December 10, 2017 showing fresh Chinese infrastructure build-up in Dokla, helipads, trenches and other construction work, all signs of a “full-fledged” military build-up.
A news website said at least “one complete mechanized regiment” was deployed at the site by the Chinese PLA. A TV news channel reported that the build-up was at “two locations” and that one of them was a “massive, full-fledged Chinese military complex.”
The Congress party said it was like the government of India was “snoozing” when China was planning “Doklam 2.0” near the Indian border. Wondering if the PM and Defence Minister were aware of China occupying the “entire Doklam Plateau”, the Congress asked “what was the government doing after announcing the end of the three-month Dokla standoff with troops of both countries doing “expeditious disengagement”?
Good question, but couldn’t the Congress have suggested some steps the government should take post-haste now that Chinese subterfuge has been discovered? Why do political parties always try to score brownie points at the expense of national security? The Congress has already established itself in the Chinese mind as the party of choice China wants India to be ruled by.
For reasons not palatable, China has always felt comfortable with a Congress-ruled India. The so-called nationalist BJP with its muscular, military foreign policy has kept the Chinese mostly rattled. And with Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat reiterating again and again that the Army was entirely capable of not only defending India’s northern border, but also of taking the battle home to China, the Chinese PLA and its Chinese Communist Party masters have been on edge.
It was almost as if the Indian Army was inclined to lull the Chinese PLA into attacking India just so as to avenge 1962. It was apparent to the keen observer that when the Dokla standoff ended and the “expeditious disengagement” announced, the Indian Army was none too pleased with the outcome.
The Congress Party it seems is not in sync with the Indian Army. Come to think of it, the Congress, whenever it was in power, had always stopped the Indian Army short of finishing a military campaign against the enemy, whether Pakistan or China. The release of 90,000 Pakistani POW following the 1971 Indo-Pak War and the fact that Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka against the LTTE when the IPKF was sent with “one hand tied behind its back” were just two times when the Army was believed to have felt letdown by a Congress government.
Under the circumstances, the Congress Party, instead of giving China comfort, should ask the government as to how prepared was the Indian Army in defending India’s borders? To say that the Chinese PLA has occupied the Dokla Plateau cannot be correct because the Indian Army has not said to date that troops stationed at the trijunction have been withdrawn. The Congress does not know that and anybody who underestimates the Indian Army should stop doing so immediately. The defence forces of India are not for political parties to score brownie points. Randeep Surjewala should hold his horses, the charge of the Congress cavalry is ill-timed and uncalled for.
General Rawat said the other day at the multi-lateral Raisina Dialogue that the Chinese PLA has carried out a temporary build-up at Dokla, and he should know, more than anybody else, definitely more than Randeep Surjewala. (IPA Service)
The post With Chinese At Doklam, Congress Goes After Modi, Sushma appeared first on Newspack by India Press Agency.