Ladakh [India], August 20 (ANI): In Ladakh to pay tribute to his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s 79th birth anniversary, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday hit out at the Centre, saying that its claim that not an inch of Indian land was taken by China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) troops “is not true”.
The Congress MP claimed the locals, too, contend that Indian territory was intruded upon and taken by the Chinese troops, adding that it was a matter of concern.
Speaking to reporters after laying floral tributes to a framed photograph of the former PM by a gleaming Pangong Tso lake on an overcast Sunday morning, the Congress leader said, “The locals here are concerned about China taking our land. They have said that the Chinese troops took away their grazing land. However, the PM says not an inch of land was taken away. This is not true, you can ask anyone here,” said Rahul.
Gandhi also raised questions over the Union territory status given to Ladakh after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories following the abrogation of Article 370.
“There were so many complaints from the people of Ladakh, They are not happy with the status that has been given to them, they want more representation and unemployment is also a concern. People are saying that the state should not be run by bureaucracy but by representatives of the people, the Congress MP added.
Rahul recalled a conversation with his father in which Rajiv Gandhi told him that Pangong Tso is the most beautiful place on earth.
“I remember, when I was small, my father once returned from a visit to Pangong Tso and showed me some pictures of the lake. He told me that this is the most beautiful place on earth. During the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, I was scheduled to come to Ladkah but because of some logistical reasons, the visit had to be shelved. So I thought of a visit later and a longer stay here. I will also be visiting the Nubra Valley and Kargil.”
During his visit, Rahul was accompanied by Vikar Rasool Wani, president of the Jammu & Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee and several other party officials and workers.
Earlier, in a post on the social media platform ‘X’, Rahul Gandhi wrote, “Papa, the dreams you had for India are shown from these priceless memories. Your mark is my way – understanding the struggles and dreams of every Indian, listening to the voice of Mother India.”
Rahul embarked on a bike ride to Pangong Tso in Ladakh on Saturday. (ANI)
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