Modi, Sushma mislead nation on Doklam: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of misleading the nation over Chinese troops occupying Doklam plateau, saying Indian security and strategic interests have been compromised.

“The satellite imagery and media reports suggest that China has established military establishments in Doklam near Indian borders which indicates that India’s security and strategic interests have been compromised,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surhewala told the media here.

Surjewala said: “It seems that the government was snoozing while the Chinese troops occupied the Doklam plateau as suggested by satellite images. And it seems China is planning Doklam 2.0 like retreat near the Indian borders.”

Accusing Modi of mastering the art of rhetoric, the Congress spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has mastered the art of electoral rhetoric as he has failed miserably to ensure the protection of our borders.”

Showing the satellite images, Surjewala said China had constructed a two-storey watch tower, seven helipads and several military establishments in Doklam.

“What is the government doing as China has occupied the entire Doklam plateau? Is the government, Prime Minister, Defence Minister, aware about these constructions?”

Slamming Sushma Swaraj, Surjewala said the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement then, saying the troops of both the countries were doing expeditious disengagement.

“Even Sushma Swarajji said (this) in Parliament. And when we asked about the details, she said the troops of both countries were returning to their posts. At that point, there was no reason to question her statement,” he said.

He said after the tensions at Doklam were resolved, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that while it had withdrawn the troops, it shall keep on patrolling the area.

The Congress leader demanded to know how the issue of tri-junction at Doklam would be decided in future when the China had occupied the entire plateau.

Surjewala said: “In October, Modiji announced at a public rally that Doklam issue as a victory. However, the satellite imagery released in media reports suggest that Chinese troops have constructed military establishments.

Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a face-off at Doklam for over three months last year.