Rahul says he met Chinese envoy

Rahul says he met Chinese envoy

Rahul says he met Chinese envoy
After a series of flip-flops by the Congress, party vice president Rahul Gandhi clarified on Monday that he did meet Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui on Saturday.

Rahul’s clarification came hours after Congress leaders first denied any such meeting and even termed it “fake news” disseminated by a “bhakt” news channel.

Earlier in the day, the Congress was caught unawares as the Chinese embassy here issued a statement on the ambassador’s meeting with Rahul on Saturday to “exchange views on the current bilateral relations”.

“A wanting to be (sic) ‘Bhakt’ channel will not question 3 Union ministers visiting China or PM’s bonhomie & praise at G20 yet run fake news!” tweeted Randeep Singh Surjewala, in-charge of the AICC Communication department.

Taking a cue from Surjewala, Congress’ social media chief Ramya Divya Spandana added to the confusion by saying that “even if Congress VP had met the Chinese Ambassador, I don’t see it as an issue.”

In a bid to clear the air, Rahul tweeted: “It is my job to be informed on critical issues. I met the Chinese ambassador, Ex-NSA (Shivshankar Menon), Congress leaders from NE (Northeast) & the Bhutanese Ambassador.”

Minutes later party spokespersons tried to describe the interaction as “normal course of business”. When asked about the confusion, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said it was a “communication gap that was corrected soon after”.

The Congress vice president hit out at the government for being “so concerned” about his meeting with a foreign envoy and demanded to know why three Union ministers were “availing Chinese hospitality” amid tension at the border.

Rahul also tagged news reports of Chinese incursion in Ladakh’s Chumar sector with a picture of Modi on a swing with President Xi Jinping in Ahmedabad during an official visit to India in September 2014.

“And for the record, I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India,” Rahul said. The meeting with the Chinese ambassador took place a day after the Congress vice president had questioned Modi’s silence on the Chinese incursions.

“Why is our prime minister silent on China,” Rahul tweeted hours before Modi greeted Xi on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg.

The controversy has come at a time when troops from India and China are locked in a month-long border standoff in the Sikkim Sector near the strategically important tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan.
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