Rahul Gandhi's "Surender Modi" hashtag - which was the top trend on Twitter last Sunday -- is just playing into the hands of China and Pakistan and the Congress leader should stop playing "ochhi rajniti" (shallow minded politics), Union Home Minister Amit Shah told news agency ANI today. The government, he added, was ready for a debate in parliament on the issue.
"Yes we are fully capable of handling anti-India propaganda but it does pain when a former President of such a big political party does "ochi rajiniti (shallow minded politics) at a time of problems," Mr Shah said.
"It is a matter of self-introspection for him and Congress that his hashtag is being taken forward by Pakistan and China... You say what China and Pakistan like. And at this time of crisis," added Mr Shah, referring to the months-long face-off at the Line of Actual Control --the de facto border between the two nations.
Since June 15, when 20 soldiers were killed in action at Ladakh's Galwan Valley during a clash with Chinese troops, Mr Gandhi has been accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of surrendering Indian territory to the Chinese.
Last Sunday, Mr Gandhi, who had kept up the attack on the BJP with one or more tweet a day since June 15, tweeted, ""Narendra Modi Is actually Surender Modi".
Mr Shah said the government was ready for a debate in parliament on the Ladakh issue in its entirety. 'No one is shying away from a discussion. Parliament is about to convene. Let's have a discussion. Let us discuss from '62 till now. But at a time our jawans are fighting it out at the border and the government has taken a tough stand, we should not be giving out statement that favour China and Pakistan," he added.
Mr Gandhi's "Surender" dig was a response to the Prime Minister's comment at an all-party meet that China has not captured any Indian territory or crossed the border.
"Neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured... While we have given a free hand to our armed forces, diplomatically too we have made our stand clear to China. India wants peace and friendship but protecting its sovereignty is supreme," the Prime Minister had said.
The Prime Minister's Office said the opposition's attack on the issue was an attempt to give a "mischievous interpretation" to PM Modi's comments.
"As regards transgression of LAC (Line of Actual Control), it was clearly stated that the violence in Galwan on 15 June arose because Chinese side was seeking to erect structures just across the LAC and refused to desist from such actions," the government said in a statement.
Today, in his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, PM Modi said, "Those who eyed Indian territory in Ladakh have received a befitting response. If India knows how to maintain friendship, it can also confront someone and give an adequate response".