NEW DELHI: Taking a
at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Sino-India border standoff,
leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the eastern neighbour knows PM is 'scared'.
Before the stand-off at eastern Ladakh, where the disengagement process has been completed with the withdrawal of troops, weapons, and other military hardware from the North and South banks of Pangong lake areas, the Chinese "tested the idea in Dokhlam (in 2017)," Gandhi said.
"Essentially the Chinese occupied certain strategic areas in our country. They first tested the idea in Dokhlam. They tested the idea to see how would India react and they noticed India did not react. And then they carried out the idea again in Ladakh and also I believe in Arunachal Pradesh," he added.
Speaking in detail over the border standoff, Gandhi said Modi's first reaction to the Chinese incursions was "that nobody has come into India."
"That indicated to the Chinese that the Prime Minister of India is scared of them. That is the message he indicated to the Chinese, that he is scared of them and the Chinese understood it. And since then the Chinese have negotiated on that principle," he said.
"They know that the Prime Minister of India cannot stand up to them. Mark my words, our land in Depsang, which is the most important land, is not going to come back to under this government. The Prime Minister will not get that land back. He will pretend everything is sorted out, but India is going to lose that territory," he charged.
Giving such a message to the Chinese was "very dangerous to the future because the Chinese are not going to stop with Ladakh," he alleged.
He said the government under the Congress "always dealt with the Chinese without any hesitation." "The Chinese understood very well that India cannot be pushed around. Even in 2013 when the Chinese entered into India, we took action that forced them, forced them to compromise...we went and occupied other spaces," he said. "They have now understood the Prime Minister doesn't have the courage...the Chinese know the Prime Minister is going to compromise," he added.
Rahul Gandhi also attacked the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) saying that the organisation has destroyed the institutional balance in the country by 'systematically attacking elected institutions and free press' for the last six years.
Explaining his statement at VOC College in Thoothukudi, Rahul Gandhi said, "A nation is a balance between its institutions, if that balance is disturbed then the nation is disturbed. That is the central idea. What are the institutions that make up the Indian nation? There are elected institutions Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabhas, Panchayats. There is the judiciary, there is a supporting free press. These institutions together, they hold the nation together in place."
"What we have seen over the last six years, is a systematic attack on all these institutions. Democracy does not die with a bang, it dies slowly and I am sad to tell you that democracy in India is dead. It doesn't exist anymore. It is dead because one organization, the RSS has combined with huge finances to penetrate and disturb and destroy our institutional balance. That is what is happened," he said.
"There are many different manifestations of this. Misuse of sedition law, the killing of people, threatening of people. These are all symptoms of the problem. But the problem is that the concentration of the capital has combined with the organization of the RSS and has disturbed and destroyed the institutional balance in the country," the Wayanad MP said.
He said that there are multiple other balances that are also being distorted. "Remember India is a union of states, so all states come together to form the nation. When you destroy the institutional balance of the country, you also destroy the negotiation between the states. Because if all states do not have equal say then the power balance between those states is disturbed. And that is a serious problem for any country and that is what we are facing," he said.
The Congress leader added, "I think the spirit of this meeting is to understand what is happening and to defend the Indian nation and its institutions from this brutal assault which is taking place."
"Question isn't whether Prime Minister is useful or useless. Question is who is he useful to? PM is extremely useful to 2 people i.e. 'Hum do Humare Do', who are using him to increase their wealth and useless to the poor," Rahul Gandhi said while replying to a question at VOC College.
assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the
Election Commission of India
) announced on Friday.
With this announcement, the model code of conduct comes into force. The assembly elections in the southern state are important for the national as well as the regional political parties.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other.
(With inputs from agency)