Met Chinese ambassador to be informed of critical issues, says Rahul

Met Chinese ambassador to be informed of critical issues, says Rahul

The Congress on Monday did a flip-flop on its vice-president Rahul Gandhi's meeting with Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui in Delhi amidst the border stand-off, but sought to do some damage control later by asking questions of the government over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg last week. And in the process, he launched yet another scathing attack on PM Narendra Modi over the ongoing Sikkim standoff.

Later, Rahul took to Twitter to defend his meeting with the Chinese envoy and said, "It is my job to be informed on critical issues".

At the official briefing in the evening, Congress leader Manish Tewari, while repeating that the meeting with the Chinese envoy had taken place, in keeping with past practice, trained his guns on the Modi government on the issue.

In the morning, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had denied that any such interaction took place after a TV channel reported about the meeting between Gandhi and Luo.

Congress spokespersons had earlier said Gandhi had met the ambassadors and the former NSA, but not specified when or where the meetings were held. "Why is our Prime Minister silent on China?". "So, nobody should try to sensationalise such normal courtesy calls or term them as events", he added, .

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"Why is the India Foundation Delegation led by BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav now in China after two of their researchers were refused a visa?" he questioned. China has said it will only engage in a dialogue with India after it withdraws its troops.

Surjewala said Rahul and other opposition leaders are "fully aware of our national interests" and are concerned about the "grave situation" on the Indo-Chinese border as well as "the situation arising in Bhutan as also in Sikkim".

The controversy comes amid a month-long border standoff between the two countries in the Doklam region located at the narrow but strategically important tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan, with the three countries barely separated by mountains and passes.

Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

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