A day after China stalled India’s bid to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the opposition Congress and the ruling BJP on Thursday engaged in a bitter political spat. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he was scared of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the BJP hit back, saying that China would not have been in the UNSC if not for Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India. NoMo’s China Diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat. 2. Hug Xi in Delhi. 3. Bow to Xi in China,” Gandhi tweeted. The Congress compared Modi with his predecessor Manmohan Singh, arguing that the UPA government got the UNSC to declare Hafiz Saeed as a designated global terrorist.
In a press conference at the BJP headquarters, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Why is Rahul Gandhi in a celebratory mood when the country is pained by China’s attitude? He must be headlining in Pakistan.”
Hitting back at Gandhi’s tweet, Prasad said, “A country’s foreign policy is not determined on Twitter.”
Quoting from a book, Nehru — The invention of India, written by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Prasad said it was written that India’s first Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi’s great grandfather, played a role in China becoming a permanent member of the UNSC. “If you enjoy such good relations with China, then you should have used your proximity to persuade the country to back the proposal in the UN,” he said, attacking Gandhi.
Prasad said India continues to fight a decisive battle against terrorism under the leadership of Narendra Modi.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted, “The original mistake, both Kashmir and China, was committed by the same person.”
“Pt. Nehru’s infamous letter to Chief Ministers’ dated August 2, 1955 states, ‘Informally, suggestions have been made by the United States that China should be taken into the United Nations but not in the Security Council, & that India should take her place in the Security Council… We cannot, of course, accept this as it means falling out with China and it would be very unfair for a great country like China not to be in the Security Council’,” he tweeted. “Will the Congress president tell us who the original sinner was?”
Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India.
NoMo’s China Diplomacy:
1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat
2. Hug Xi in Delhi
3. Bow to Xi in China https://t.co/7QBjY4e0z3
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 14, 2019
The Congress termed China’s move as a major setback in the global fight against terrorism. “It once again reaffirms Chinese position of being an inseparable ally of terrorism’s breeding ground — Pakistan. Sadly, Modi’s foreign policy, or its lack thereof, has been a series of diplomatic blunders one after another,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.
“The present situation also arises out of failure of a weak-kneed Modi government, bending over backwards before China over the last five years, which has culminated into the present state of things… Will Prime Minister Modi answer… as to why he became ‘maun’ Modi as India’s interests were repeatedly compromised.”
China, Surjewala said, had also firmly opposed PM Modi’s visit to Arunachal, violated Indian air space in Uttarakhand and Himachal several times in the past five years and exponentially expanded strategic, economic and defense partnerships with Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but PM Modi’s response has been “jhoola diplomacy in Gujarat, hug diplomacy in Delhi and agenda-less visits to China”.
Meanwhile, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, the economic wing of the RSS, has written a letter to the PM, appealing to “retaliate against Chinese action”. According to Ashwani Mahajan, All India Co-Convener of SJM, China “is already under economic stress, thanks to the trade war initiated by US and other trade partners,” and “will definitely realise the implications of unjust action of protecting terrorists”.