Sikkim standoff: The Congress today expressed serious concern over rising incidents of infiltration along the border with China and asked the government what was its strategy to deal with national security which was “going through turbulent times”. It said “unfortunately, it appears that this government has been caught napping” and has not been able to implement significant accords of recent origin which the UPA government had signed. “We were able to contain and control the situation. We say this with great responsibility and restraint but we would be abdicating our responsibilities if we do not say this,” AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said. The party took a dig at the government for not having a full-time defence minister, saying “we either have a reluctant defence minister or a part-time defence minister”. “National security is going through turbulent times in different facets,” Singhvi said.
He said there have been 120 Chinese incursions in the past 45 days and 240 such intrusions have taken place in the first six months of 2017 itself. The Congress leader said this is happening even when the Line of Actual Control Agreement of 2005 and the Border Dispute co-operation Agreement of 2013 exists between India- China. He said such kind of confrontation between India and China has never happened in the last 55 years. Reiterating the party’s support to the government on the matter, Singhvi said, “We stand solidly behind the government if and when they take corrective measures in national interest vis-a-vis China border issue.” His remarks came in the wake of a face-off with Chinese troops in Doklam, a disputed territory between China and Bhutan and on a day when China hit back at India accusing it of “betrayal”.
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The verbal spat between China and India escalated as Beijing said the Indian Army’s action to stop Chinese troops from constructing a road in an area near Sikkim is a “betrayal” of the stance taken by successive Indian governments and India must withdraw from the region. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the Sino-India border in the Sikkim sector is well demarcated.