'Rahul Gandhi Taking Classes From Chinese Ambassador': EAM S Jaishankar Hits Out At Disqualified Wayanad MP
Criticising Congress leader and disqualified Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi at an event today (7 May), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he was taking classes on China from the Chinese ambassador.
"I would have offered to take classes on China from Rahul Gandhi but I discovered he was taking classes on China from the Chinese ambassador," the minister said, responding to the Congress leader's criticism of the Modi government's handling of relations with China.
"I know everything in politics is political. I accept that. But I think on certain issues, we have a collective responsibility to at least behave in a way that we do not weaken our [India's] collective position abroad," Jaishankar said, adding, "often very misleading narratives are put in."
Jaishankar was referring to Rahul Gandhi's meeting with the Chinese ambassador to India during the Doklam crisis.
During the Doklam military crisis in 2017, China was threatening a repeat of the 1962 war while attempting to occupy Bhutanese territory. At that time, Rahul Gandhi reportedly met with the Chinese ambassador, even as India was standing its ground, supporting ally Bhutan.
The minister also referred to China's construction of a bridge over the Pangong Lake in easterl Ladakh last year.
The Congress party, with Rahul Gandhi leading the charge, attacked the government, suggesting that new territory had been lost to China's salami slicing. However, as Swarajya had reported, the bridge had come up in an area that had been under Chinese occupation since at least 1959.
Earlier this year, Jaishankar had criticised Rahul Gandi while speaking at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi.
"When Panda huggers try to be China hawks... it doesn't fly," the minister said, adding, ""He [Rahul Gandhi] speaks admiringly about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He compares, very poetically, I must say, the BRI with the Yellow River in China gushing forward. The BRI goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. It violates our national integrity and sovereignty. He doesn't have a word to say about it," a visibly upset Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar referred to Gandhi's remarks as troubling and criticized the opposition leader for being dismissive about India while seemingly praising China. When asked for his thoughts on Gandhi's recent address made in the United Kingdom, he said, "I am troubled as a citizen of India when I see somebody drooling over China and being dismissive about India."
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