Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded the sacking of General VK Singh (Retd.) from the Union Council of Ministers over his remarks on the LAC faceoff. Speaking to the media in Madurai on February 7, the MoS Road Transport and Highways reportedly said, “None of you come to know how many times we have transgressed as per our perception. We don’t announce it. Chinese media does not cover it… Let me assure you, if China has transgressed 10 times, we must have done it at least 50 times, as per our perception””. This comes even as the Ministry of External Affairs has not undertaken any actions across the LAC.
Responding to Singh’s comment a day earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin dubbed it as an “unwitting confession”. Latching on to the remark, he claimed that India’s “frequent acts of trespass” is the root cause of the tensions at the India-China border. Writing on Twitter, the Wayanad MP accused the former Indian Army chief of helping China challenge India’s narrative. According to him, not sacking General VK Singh (Retd.) would be tantamount to insulting every Indian soldier.
The LAC Faceoff
The faceoff at the Line of Actual Control was exacerbated when 21 Indian Army soldiers including a Commanding Officer were martyred in the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020, when the de-escalation process was underway. This was followed by multiple attempts of provocation by the Chinese side at the end of August. Multiple rounds of military commander-level and WMCC meetings have taken place between the two sides to resolve the crisis. Besides this, EAM S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have met their respective counterparts.
The 20th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) took place on December 18, 2020. The developments along the LAC were reviewed and both sides agreed to work towards ensuring complete disengagement as per the agreements reached between the respective Foreign Ministers and Special Representatives. Furthermore, they acknowledged that the 7th and 8th round of military commander-level talks had contributed to ensuring “stability on the ground”. On January 24, the 9th round of Corps Commander-level talks was held to work out a phased disengagement and de-escalation plan.