The Congress on Monday made a U-turn and admitted that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi did meet with Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui.
Gandhi met both the Chinese ambassador, the Bhutanese envoy and former national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
“Be it the Chinese ambassador (Luo Zhaohui) or Bhutanese ambassador (Vetsop Namgyel) or former national security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, Gandhi met all three of them. Nobody should try to sensationalise such normal courtesy calls to term them an event like the sources of the Ministry of External Affairs are attempting to do,” he said.
Surjewala said Rahul and other Opposition leaders are “fully aware of our national interests” and are concerned about the “grave situation” on the Indo-Chinese border as well as “the situation arising in Bhutan as also in Sikkim”.
It was Surjewala who had tweeted the denial in the morning.
“A wanting to be ‘Bhakt’ channel will not question 3 Union Ministers visiting China or PM’s bonhomie & praise at G20 yet run fake news!,” he said.
Congress social media head Ramya said the issue was not if Gandhi met the Chinese envoy or not and questioned why the Prime Minister did not flag the border issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping when the two leaders met last week at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
“While Chinese incursions were happening, this meeting took place and the Weak PM didn’t deem it necessary to speak about the issue,” she wrote on Twitter and posted a picture of Modi with Xi Jinping at the summit.
Gandhi had on Friday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” on the impasse in the Doklam, which is located at the narrow but strategically important tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan.
“Why is our Prime Minister silent on China?” he had asked on Twitter.