Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 29 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday came down heavily on the Centre demanding the government to deal with China "firmly".
The Congress MP said the people of the country will not tolerate Chinese "sitting on Indian land".
Addressing a press conference on the eve of the culmination of his 134-day Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress MP said that a Ladakhi delegation clearly said that 2000 square km of the Indian Territory was taken by the Chinese.
"Government is under the impression that the Chinese have not taken any land from India. A delegation from Ladakh clearly said that 2000 square km of Indian Territory was taken by the Chinese. They also said that many patrolling points that used to be in India are now firmly in Chinese hands," said Rahul Gandhi.
The Wayanad MP said the approach that the government was following by completely denying that the Chinese have taken our land is extremely dangerous as it would give them the confidence to do even more aggressive things.
"The approach Government is following by completely denying that the Chinese have taken our land is dangerous and it will give them more confidence to do more aggressive things. We have to deal with the Chinese firmly and tell them they are sitting on our land, won't be tolerated," he further said.
Targeting the Centre over the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress leader said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other BJP leaders should walk from Jammu to Lal Chowk if the situation is so good in the Union Territory.
"Target killing and bomb blasts are happening in Jammu and Kashmir and if the security situation has improved then the conversation the security personnel are having with me should not have been required. If the situation is so good why don't the BJP people walk from Jammu to Lal Chowk? Why doesn't Amit Shah walk from Jammu to Kashmir if the situation is so secure? I don't think that argument holds," said Rahul Gandhi.
Congress has alleged a security lapse during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir.
Earlier on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that police arrangement "completely collapsed" during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir and he had "to cancel" his walk.
When asked about his plans after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi said, "I am tired after traveling 4000 kms. I want to take some rest, then I have to think about the future."
Responding to several questions about the restoration of statehood, the Congress leader said it should be the first step taken in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Statehood and restoration of the democratic process is a fundamental and very important first step. The other steps will come later and I do not necessarily have to comment on it here," he said, referring to a question about holding talks with Pakistan.
"All states have an assembly. The democratic process is the right of the people and it should be restored in Jammu and Kashmir. A solution should be found for the people of Ladakh as well," he added.
In response to a question about the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019, Rahul Gandhi said the Congress Working Committee has already made its stand clear on the issue.
Notably, Article 370 granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked by the Modi government on August 5, 2019.
Posing his faith in succeeding to bring together Opposition against the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said, "Opposition parties may have their differences, they will always stand united against RSS and BJP."
He further said that yatra may have traversed the country from South to North but its impact is countrywide.
"The BJP and RSS are attacking the institutional framework of this country. Whether it is Parliament, assemblies, judiciaries, or media. All institutions are being attacked and captured by the BJP. What you have seen in different parts of the country and Jammu and Kashmir are the result of that assault on the institutional framework," he said.
The yatra which will culminate on Monday, the party leader said this march is no longer a Congress but has become a movement for the common people.
He said the Bharat Jodo Yatra provides an alternative vision of brotherhood to BJP and RSS' "politics of hate and arrogance".
When asked about the impact of the Yatra on Kashmir and national politics, the Wayanad MP said, "This yatra is not ours because in this yatra people of the country traveled more than the party workers and leaders. The yatra has given one alternative vision. The BJP-RSS has given one vision full of hate and our vision 'nafrat ke bazaar me Mohabbat ka dukaan wala', the vision of brotherhood and of respect. Clearly, India has two visions and it is not just vision but the way of life. One has the vision to suppress the people and the other one is to unite everyone. The yatra will have an impact on the Indian polity but cannot tell yet what exactly it will be. The yatra has not ended, this is just the beginning."
He said the march will have a tremendous effect on the politics of this country. "I cannot tell what exactly will be the effect but I can tell that this yatra is not over. It is a first step towards a new beginning," he said.
Congress leader accompanied by his sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, on Sunday unfurled the national flag at the clock tower of Lal Chowk in Srinagar as the Bharat Jodo Yatra entered its final day before concluding on Monday.
The yatra will proceed to Nehru Park in the Boulevard area of the city and will culminate on Monday.
Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra resumed on Friday morning from the National Highway-44, Banihal Railway station, in the UT's Ramban district.
Security was tightened in the area in the wake of the recent twin blasts on the outskirts of Jammu city on January 22 which rocked a busy locality in Narwal leaving at least nine people injured.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started in Kanyakumari on September 7, will conclude on January 30 in Srinagar after covering 3,970 km, 12 states, and two Union territories. (ANI)