Congress Flip-Flop On Rahul Gandhi's Meeting With Chinese Envoy

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| July 10 , 2017 , 17:43 IST

After initially denying INC Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui, the Congress party took a U-turn Monday evening admitting that the party Vice President did meet the Chinese envoy.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Various ambassadors and envoys keep meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi from time to time on courtesy basis, particularly those of G5 nations as also of the neighbouring it Chinese ambassador or Bhutanese ambassador or former NSA Shiv Shankar Menon.”

More interestingly, just hours before the statement, Surjewala himself had denied the meeting in a tweet which he later deleted.

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When question over the Chinese embassy’s website referring Mr. Gandhi conferring with the envoy on Saturday, he had alleged that the report was "planted" by the External Affairs Ministry and Intelligence Bureau. "They should re-verify that we still have diplomatic relations with all our neighbours," Surjewala said in a statement Monday morning.

After confirming the meeting, Surjewala had no explanation on why the party had denied the meeting in the morning.

However, he did sought to clarify that his remark of ‘fake news’ was in the context of news channels terming the meeting as ‘anti-national’.

The Chinese embassy drew the media attention after their website on July 8 posted about a meeting between Gandhi and Luo. In questions of the meeting, the Congress denied the meeting till Monday and terming the news as ‘fake news’ propagated to hurt Congress’s image. However, later the same day, the Party acknowledged the meeting with the Chinese envoy.

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Surjewala in his statement said: "Nobody should try to sensationalise such normal courtesy calls to term them as events like the ‘sources' from the Home Ministry are trying to do. Rahul Gandhi as other opposition leaders are fully aware of our national interests and are concerned about the grave situation on the Indo-Chinese border as also the situation arising in Bhutan and Sikkim," he added.

The meeting comes days after the INC VP Rahul Gandhi questioned the Prime Minister over his silence on the India-China stand-off after the PM met the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg last week.