Sikkim standoff: Congress denies Rahul Gandhi meeting with Chinese envoy, then confirms it

Sikkim standoff: “It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese Ambassador, Ex-NSA, Congress leaders from NE and the Bhutanese Ambassador,” Rahul tweeted in the evening. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari identified the ex-NSA as Shivshankar Menon.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 11, 2017 10:40 am
Bhutan, Sikkim, India, Rahul Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi sikkim, China, India China, Sikkim standoff: Congress V-P Rahul Gandhi said it is his job to be informed on critical issues.

The Congress on Monday tied itself up in knots over a meeting between party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, amid the border standoff between New Delhi and Beijing. At first, the party denied the meeting took place, but confirmed it hours later. It, however, did not specify at whose instance the meeting was held on July 8, saying those specifics were not relevant.

“It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese Ambassador, Ex-NSA, Congress leaders from NE and the Bhutanese Ambassador,” Rahul tweeted in the evening. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari identified the ex-NSA as Shivshankar Menon. Also Read: No bilateral meeting took place between PM Modi and President Xi Jinping: China

But earlier in the day, the Congress had a different take. “A wanting to be Bhakt channel will not question 3 Union Ministers visiting China or PM’s bonhomie & praise at G20 yet run fake news,” Congress’s communication department head Randeep Surjewala tweeted in the morning.

“Media having meltdown over non-existent meeting b/w @OfficeOfRG & Ambassador but remains mum on PM praise for China,” tweeted the party’s national media panelist Jaiveer Shergill. Also Read: As India-China standoff continues, absence of full-time Defence minister is glaring

Speaking on the issue at the AICC briefing in the evening, Tewari said: “The Congress vice-president, in the course of his regular work schedule, meets with a broad spectrum of people including diplomats. He did meet with the Chinese Ambassador, he did meet with the Bhutanese Ambassador, he did meet with the former NSA Shivshankar Menon.

“And for all those people who have been getting very angsty about it since morning, I have some questions too. If so much of a brouhaha is being made about it, then why did the Prime Minister of India actually cross the Lake Alster and go to the Grand Elysée Hotel to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, especially after the Chinese had made it known that a structured bilateral meeting is not possible… And may I ask what was HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar doing in Beijing? And what was Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma doing in Beijing? And this is all on July 6 and 7. What was the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda also doing in China at the same time? And why is an India Foundation delegation… now in China after two of their researchers were refused a visa… So let’s get real about it… in the normal course of business, people meet other people, and people in public life do try and acquaint themselves with the facts.”

Rahul tweeted on similar lines. “If Govt is so concerned abt me meeting an Amb, they shld explain why 3 Ministers are availing Chinese hospitality while the border issue is on… And for the record I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India,” he tweeted, with a 2014 photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on a swing on the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad.

Asked about the denials, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said: “There may have been a communication gap or a glitch. Because those who were privy to it would not have done that. Maybe, it was an initial communication gap which was corrected soon after… I don’t think Rahul Gandhi ever denied. There was some initial misunderstanding and it was soon cleared.”

About the standoff with China, Tewari said the Congress is “extremely concerned because there seems to be almost a two-front situation developing, and it is unfortunate that in the last 38 months, for a substantive period of time, India has not had a full-time Defence Minister.”

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  1. M
    Jul 21, 2017 at 1:04 pm
    no one cares for Raulo vincio italiano in India. he does not get one vote even if he pays thousands of rupees (swindled by his 'great' family). He is so frustrated, he has gone and fall at the feet of some Chinese guy who must have been waiting to get some free dinner. This frustrated goose has invited the Chinese for dinner. So finally this frustrated goose got some publicity . Along with him, are frustrated bankrupt fellows like Anand Sharma who got nothing to do. Tamil Pappan Mani Shankar Iyer went to Pakistan and fell at the feet of frustrated muslims seeking their help to remove our PM. All these are due to FRUSTRATION OF SCAMGRESS CROOKS., as Indians have rejected them and elected our own Hindu as PM finally rejecting the Italian oldy.
    1. M
      Mangal Singh
      Jul 13, 2017 at 8:44 am
      1. L
        Jul 12, 2017 at 1:02 am
        Rahul his family, Sikkim CM Chamling, the Congress party, the Communist party, GJM leaders in darjeeling...looks like these fleet of traitors, betrayers of India are bent upon selling the country to China. At least China has pointed out the rats amongst us.
        1. B
          Jul 12, 2017 at 12:36 am
          This one is a bigg to defend him many yas lined up.this congii ..Is a Islamic terrorists Muslim party this should be wiped out from India to Italy or Pakistan.this Khan gress party betrying non-muslims and whole India .They want to create many Pakistan In India by appeasing bloody inhuman character Islamic Muslims.friends specially for Hindu don vote this Muslim congggii party Karnatak this congii party reaches its height in appeasing Muslims.
          1. A
            Jul 11, 2017 at 5:58 pm
            The RAW/CBI need to immediately have an investigation on Rahul. Modi government needs to act quickly and get to the bottom of this before this corrupt traitor takes the country down in his greed to become its PM. Somebody who can go down to this level of treachery cannot be too far away from his g mother when considering emergency if he ever has the chance.
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