Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked the Modi government over China's claim to have control over the Indian Union territory of Ladakh as suggested by a map released by the hostile neighbouring country.
While leaving for Karnataka, the Congress MP said, "The Prime Minister had said, 'not an inch of land has been lost in Ladakh'. This is an absolute lie. Entire Ladakh knows that China has usurped our land."
The top Congress leader has also demanded a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government bifurcated erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in 2019.
"The matter of the map is serious, but China has actually taken our land. The Prime Minister should say something on this," Rahul said.
India protests against China's new map
India on Tuesday lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with Beijing over the issue of the 2023 standard map of China that lays claim to India’s territory.
In response to media queries, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "India rejects these claims as they have no basis."
"Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question," the MEA spokesperson said.
India's response came after China on Monday officially released the 2023 edition of its “standard map” where Arunachal Pradesh, the Aksai Chin region, Taiwan, and the disputed South China Sea were all included within the Chinese territory.
The development came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi-Jinping called for a "resolution" of the long-standing border issues between the two nations on the sidelines of the 15th edition of the BRICS Summit in South Africa.
The two leaders also agreed to intensify efforts at expeditious "disengagement and de-escalation" to restore normal relationships between the two countries.