New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday hit out at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for meeting Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui here last month, amid the Doklam border standoff instead of trying to understand the situation from the Indian government.
“I was very saddened that the opposition, instead of considering the point of view of the Indian government, went and met the Chinese Ambassador,” said Sushma Swaraj, replying to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on foreign policy.
“They did not try to understand the situation (the border standoff) from the Indian government, instead approached the Chinese counterpart to get their point of view,” she added.
The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi had posted on its website about the July 8 meeting between Gandhi and Luo, but later withdrew it.
The embassy had said in its WeChat account: “On July 8, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui met with Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the Congress party. The two sides exchanged views on the current China-India relations and other business. Counsellor Zhou Yuyun attended the meeting.”
Gandhi had defended his meeting with Ambassador Luo, saying it was his job to be informed of critical issues. He had also met the Bhutanese envoy and former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, among other officials.
Swaraj also took a dig at Congress MP Rajiv Shukla, who had said: “Why India did not take part in the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) meeting and also referred to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”
“Why did the Congress allow him to say this. How did this crop up in his mind? It is a matter of India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as POK is an integral part of India,” Swaraj said.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad stood up said that Shukla’s remarks were his individual views.