Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday raised questions on recent media reports of Chinese action in the Dokalam area at a parliamentary panel meeting which was briefed by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was briefed on the topic ‘Sino-India relations with a focus on the Dokalam situation’.
Gandhi, who is also a member of the panel, had the maximum number of queries on the issue and raised questions about media reports that claimed China had again started constructing a road in the Dokalam area, a member present at the meeting said on the condition of anonymity.
Jaishankar replied that the government had no information on China building roads outside its territory. The committee’s members also appreciated the resolution of the Dokalam standoff through diplomatic channels.
The 73-day face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Dokalam started on June 16 after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army.
Gandhi wanted to know what the government was doing to ensure that such a face-off did not occur again, the member said. The Congress leader also raised questions about reports of Chinese incursions in Ladakh.
When contacted, Tharoor declined to share the details of the meeting but said, “It was an intense and interesting meeting”. During the 90-minute long meet, foreign ministry officials also briefed the members about the Rohingya issue.
Only six of the 30 members of the panel were present at the meeting. Of them, only one MP, Richard Hay, was from the BJP.