Congress's Rahul Gandhi sharp tweet -- accusing Prime Minster Narendra Modi of "surender" to the Chinese over Ladakh -- drew angry reactions from the BJP leadership on Sunday. While BJP chief JP Nadda took Mr Gandhi's words as a compliment, others too, were incensed. By Sunday evening, #SurenderModi became the number one Twitter trend as many questioned if Mr Gandhi had got the spelling of "surrender" wrong. Others pointed out that the former Congress chief was just playing with words.
Mr Gandhi's post was an article by noted strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney, which appeared in a foreign publication. The accompanying post read, "Narendra Modi Is actually Surender Modi".
Narendra Modi— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 21, 2020
At the UP Jan Samvad virtual rally, BJP chief JP Nadda said: "You say - 'Narendra Modi is Surender Modi'. That means you are saying that Modi-ji is not only the leader of humans but also of Gods".
The BJP's senior leader from the northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted:
Mr @RahulGandhi -You're so exasperated you can't even spell correctly!— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) June 21, 2020
And surrendering has been hallmark of Gandhi-Nehru family. In 1962, Assam was almost given away by Pt Nehru. When Chinese Army had captured Bomdila, Nehru said, "My heart goes out to people of Assam." Shame https://t.co/Tc13FuVgcc
The post was part of Mr Gandhi's continuing attack on the Prime Minister since he said on Friday that China has not captured any Indian territory or crossed the border.
At an all-party meeting called to discuss the events at Ladakh -- where 20 Indian soldiers died and 76 were injured in a violent face-off with Chinese troops on Monday -- PM Modi had said: "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 day after, Mr Gandhi suggested that the Prime Minister has surrendered Indian territory to China.
"The PM has surrendered Indian territory to Chinese aggression. If the land was Chinese: Why were our soldiers killed? Where were they killed," his post read.
The Prime Minister's Office said it 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.
The Congress has been questioning the government's silence on Ladakh since Monday's clash -- the first to have fatal consequences in nearly five decades. Earlier this week, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi put forward a series of questions for the government.
"On which date did the Chinese troops intrude into our territory in Ladakh? When did the government find out about the Chinese transgressions into our territory? Was it on May 5, as reported, or earlier? Does the government not receive, on a regular basis, satellite pictures of the borders of our country? In the government's considered view, was there a failure of intelligence?" Sonia Gandhi asked.