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‘Contrary to Modi’s statement, Ladakh status quo changed’

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New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Thursday once again slammed the BJP-led Central government over the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) issue, saying contrary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement it is “undeniable” that the status quo in Ladakh’s Galwan valley has been changed by China in April this year.

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said, “Foreign Ministry and PLA (People’s Liberation Army) of China once again assert their claim to the entire Galwan Valley and demand that India should vacate the valley. Extraordinary demand.”

“Will BJP-led NDA government once again reassert India’s claim and demand that status quo ante must be restored?” he questioned.

“Contrary to what the Prime Minister said, it is undeniable that the status quo was changed by Chinese troops in April-June 2020. People are watching if the Modi government will succeed in restoring the status quo ante,” the Congress leader said.

Chidambaram was referring to Modi’s statement made on Friday during the all party meeting that “China did not occupy the Indian land”.

Even the Prime MInister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday said that Modi was clear that India would respond firmly to any transgression attempts at the LAC. The PMO said that “attempts are being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation” to his remarks at the all-party meeting (APM) held on Friday on the Galwan standoff and the killing of the 20 Indian soldiers by the Chinese PLA troops in Galwan valley on Monday night.

The PMO said the Prime Minister had specifically emphasised that the Indian forces will now decisively counter any violations on the LAC (unhe rokte hain, unhe tokte hain) in contrast to the past neglect of such challenges. His remarks came a day after the Chinese PLA troops defying the agreed mutual consensus to disengage returned to the Patrolling Post 14 on the Line of Actual Control in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, where the barbaric June 15 attack occurred, in which 20 Indian Army soldiers, including an officer were killed.

The PLA has even set up tents and an observation point exactly where it was on June 15, sources said, adding that the Chinese have returned with huge reinforcements even after they agreed to withdraw their troops and dismantle their setups.

Sources have said that during the 11-hour-long Corps Commander level talks between India and China on June 22, it was stated that there was “mutual consensus to disengage”. It was also stated that “modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in eastern Ladakh were discussed”.

The Corps Commanders of the two nation’s militaries had met at Moldo to resolve the border issue and ease tension in eastern Ladakh. This was their second meeting after the first one on June 6.

–IANS

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