Row over Rahul's remarks on meeting Chinese ministers

Row over Rahul's remarks on meeting Chinese ministers

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. PTI Photo

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday triggered a political row with his remarks that he had met some Chinese ministers during his visit to Kailash Mansarovar last year.

BJP was quick to accuse him of being a “Chinese propagandist” and asked why he did not keep Ministry of External Affairs or Indian Embassy in the loop.

The row was kicked up after Gandhi at a town hall interaction in Bhuvaneshwa trained guns on Modi government on the issue of job creation praised China on this front saying that automation has impacted job creation in that country while job creation in India is very same.

“When I went to Kailash, I met a couple of their (Chinese) ministers. They told me they have plenty of jobs. Job is not a problem there. Automation is a problem in Europe and India but it is not a problem in China. Why automation is not creating a problem for China,” Gandhi said after comparing job creation under Modi regime in India with that of China.

Latching on to the remarks, BJP launched a full-scale attack on the Congress President and reminded him of a previous meeting him and the Chinese envoy in July last year at the height of the tension between the two countries over Doklam row.

Attacking Rahul over the meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had then said that she was very sad that leader of the largest opposition party deemed it proper to meet the Chinese envoy to get information about the standoff rather than approach the Indian leadership.” Congress had earlier denied any such meeting.

“Now it is clear that Rahul’s Mansarovar Yatra was only an excuse. Truth ultimately comes out as it has happened in this case when Rahul Gandhi speaking in Odisha accidentally spilled the beans that he had met Chinese ministers. Yatra was just an excuse. The real purpose was to meet Chinese ministers and say something. The cat is out of the bag,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

He asked why did Rahul Gandhi did not inform the Ministry of External Affairs about the meeting and why did he not kept the Indian Embassy in the loop at the meeting.

“What is the issue that he wanted to discuss with Chinese ministers, What is are the issues that he discussed with them,” Patra asked recalling “a similar context was seen when Doklam had happened.”

Patra asked “why Rahul Gandhi is acting as a Chinese propagandist? Why is he praising China so much? Why he is publicizing China’s development? It is a serious question being asked by the BJP,” Patra said.

In the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections, none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made the stunning charge that Congress was taking Pakistan’s help to defeat BJP in polls.

It had also asked a senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry to "go and live" in Pakistan for suggesting to open Indo Pak border in a particular village to allow farmers to export their farm produce there.

The attempt to paint label Congress pro Pakistan and pro-China the latter ruled by the Left with whom India does not share the best of relationship strengthens BJP’s nationalist pitch, which it has assiduously been trying to build ahead of next Lok Sabha polls.

Gandhi had gone to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in August-September in last year, months after he survived a technical snag in his plane in April while he was on his way to campaign in the Karnataka assembly polls.

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