Lucknow: The Congress on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell the country what was happening at Dokalam and about his policy on the issue with Rahul Gandhi taking a swipe at him demanding an explanation on road construction by China if he was done with “chest thumping”.
The comments came a day after reports claimed China maintained a sizeable presence of troops near the site of the Dokalam standoff with India and had started widening a road, around 12 km from the area of conflict.
“Modiji, once you’re done thumping your chest, could you please explain this?” Mr Gandhi tweeted, tagging a news report.
Echoing the stand of the Congress vice-president, the party said that what was the discussion which the Prime Minister had with the Chinese Premier during the Brics meeting. At the AICC briefing, Mr Sibal said, “Your (Modi’s) meeting was good, but what was the result of it and what is happening about it. Please tell the country as to what is happening at the border, especially along the Dokalam plateau.”
“Will the Prime Minister again call the Chinese Premier to Sabarmati and swing with him and have a good sleep?” he added.
Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Dokalam that began from June 16 over road construction activity at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction. The tension eased after talks between top officials of both the countries.
The Congress, in an article put out on its website, also said that the fresh Dokalam development underscores that deft diplomacy was not practised and requires an explanation from the government.
The article said the news that China has stationed over 1,500 troops in close proximity to the standoff zone makes warnings given out by Congress leaders earlier sound prophetic.
Newspaper reports said that the Chinese Army had begun constructing a road about 10 km from the point of stand-off, with more of its troops standing guard. Indian and Chinese troops were in a standoff situation on the Doklam plateau for over two months since June.
The Indian Army later crossed the Sikkim border to stop the construction work. While India and Bhutan maintained that it violated the status quo in the tri-junction, Beijing claimed that it was Chinese territory. Around 1,000 Chinese troops are still present on the plateau, which is approximately 800 metres from the faceoff site. Earlier, before returning to Delhi, Mr Gandhi interacted with party workers and the local people in Amethi.