Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday renewed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government over the clash with Chinese forces in Ladakh last week in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, asking him to "speak the truth without being afraid" whether China had occupied Indian territory.
"The entire country is standing together with the army and the government. But a critical question remains. A few days ago, the Prime Minister said 'No one has taken even an inch of Indian land; no one is inside Indian territory' but we are hearing, satellite photos have shown, people in Ladakh are saying and retired generals are saying that China has snatched our land. Not in one place but three," Mr Gandhi said in a video that he tweeted.
"Mr Prime Minister, you have to speak the truth. You have to tell the truth to the country. Don't be afraid. If you say 'No land has been taken' when it actually has, it will benefit China. We have to fight them together and kick them out. So you have to speak the truth without being afraid. Say, 'Yes, China has taken our land and we are going to take action.' The entire country is standing with you," he said in Hindi.
In a parting shot, he added, "And the last question. Who sent our martyrs unarmed? And why?"
Rahul Gandhi has been scaling up his campaign against the government with near-daily attacks since Indian soldiers died in a violent face-off with Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh last Monday.
On Friday, he was joined by his mother Sonia Gandhi, the Congress interim chief, and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the party's in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, who also launched similar attacks on the government with a coordinated campaign on social media "#SpeakUpForOurJawans".
"The Prime Minister says China did not infiltrate but on the other hand, Defence Ministry and External Affairs Ministry keep discussing it. Today, when we are paying tributes to our martyrs, India wants to know why and how our 20 soldiers were killed in Galwan Valley," Sonia Gandhi said in her video.
The BJP has brushed off the attacks, with party chief JP Nadda saying earlier this week, "A dynast throws tantrums and his courtiers peddle a fake narrative... The nation is united and supportive of our armed forces. This is the time for unity and solidarity. Relaunch of 'the scion' for the nth time can wait."
“Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi are acting like mouthpieces of China. People of India are asking tough questions and they are running away. You have stolen the money from government of India,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said on Friday.