Government Should Be More Transparent About China Face-Off: Rahul Gandhi

Indian and Chinese troops have have had a number of skirmishes in Ladakh this month.

Government Should Be More Transparent About China Face-Off: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said he was awaiting more information before expressing his views. (File)

The government should come clean on the face-off with China in Ladakh and be more transparent, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said. Mr Gandhi said he would not like to comment further till he understood the facts.

"I think, on the India-China issue, we would like to see some more transparency on what is going on. It becomes very difficult for us to have a position without understanding the facts," he told reporters when asked about the issue at an online news conference.

"The government should make it clear to the people of India, what exactly is happening on the border. We are hearing different stories so, I don't want to go into conjecture, but it is important that the government of India makes it clear, what is happening on the border so that people can understand and have a proper position," he said.

"I leave it to the wisdom of the government. But, transparency is needed. We should know what is happening, but the country does not know," he said.

He said till the time there is more transparency on the issue, it would not be proper on his part to comment.

"If there is more information, only then can I express my views," he said.

There has been a stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at the border in Ladakh, amid build-up of troops on both sides since early May.

The external affairs ministry has rejected China's claims of Indian troops trespassing the Chinese border and have instead accused Beijing of doing so.

Reports indicate that several thousand Chinese soldiers have either crossed or are very close to the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

The skirmishes which began on May 5 this year have seen vicious hand-to-hand fighting between Indian and Chinese forces on the North bank of the Pangong Lake.

The biggest area of concern is thought to be the Galwan River basin further North where Chinese forces are reported to have positioned themselves to threaten a road completed last year which leads up to Daulat Beg Oldie, a crucial Indian Air Force base in Ladakh which supplies Indian soldiers in the region.

Multiple meetings have been held between local commanders from the rank of Colonel to Major General in Ladakh but there has been no breakthrough at the moment. In Delhi, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held meetings with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Armed Forces Chief.

On Monday, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi offered to repatriate Chinese nationals in India if they wished, though flight tickets would need to be borne by Chinese nationals who wished to avail of the services. The standoff between Indian and Chinese forces has been described as India worst border tension since Kargil in 1999.

(With inputs from PTI)