Status quo ante at LAC should be restored, demands Congress

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) After reports emerged that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is not withdrawing from the 'depth areas' as agreed in four rounds of talks between the corps commanders of India and China and 40,000 troops are still estimated to be present at the LAC, the Congress questioned the silence of the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister on the issue.

The Congress demanded that the "status quo ante as it existed prior to May 2020 should be restored."

Addressing a press conference, Congress Senior Spokesperson Ajay Maken asked "How does the Modi Government propose to maintain and restore status quo ante as it existed prior to May 2020 and what is its policy, strategy and the way forward."

"There can never be any compromise on our territorial integrity or national security. Prime Minister cannot brush these important issues aside of Chinese transgressions and Chinese build up on our border for it threatens our territory and compromises our territorial integrity," said Maken.

The Congress leader said that the build up of the troops at the LAC assumes significance in view of the fact that just 3 days back Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had categorically stated that there is no guarantee of finding a solution through the ongoing talks.

Slamming the government for misguiding the people on the issue, the Congress leader said that there can never be a compromise on national security or the territorial integrity of India. This is a cardinal and non-negotiable principle that every citizen, countryman and every Congressman has repeated umpteen number of times while extending unconditional and total support to our armed forces in repulsing Chinese transgressions as also to our government.

The Congress posed six questions to the government. Winter is approaching and the Chinese PLA is not moving back as per the reported agreement amongst the corps commanders, it said.

"Is the Government aware of 40,000 PLA troops still not going back from our territory? Why is the RM, FM and PM silent about such an important development? What is the plan of action now," asked Maken.

The Congress asked that after this report did Prime Minister Narendra Modi mislead the nation and what does the statement of the Defence Minister mean and has the Modi Government accepted Chinese transgressions and has it also admitted that it has no solution to push the Chinese back into their own territory behind the LAC between India and China.

The Congress sought a clarification from the government on China's constructions in the Daulat Beg Oldi and Depsang Sector and whether China continues to occupy 8 kilometres of our territory in the Pangong Tso Lake area between Finger 4 to Finger 8.