The government must deal with China firmly and make it clear that 'we are not going to tolerate them sitting on our land', Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in Srinagar on the eve of the culmination of his Bharat Jodo Yatra on Sunday.
Gandhi said that the approach that the government was following 'by completely denying' that the Chinese have 'taken our land' is extremely dangerous as it would give them the confidence to do even 'more aggressive things'.
Addressing a press conference hours after unfurling the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, the former Congress president, who undertook the 134-day Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Srinagar, said, "I think the way to deal with these Chinese is to deal with them firmly and to be very clear that they are sitting on our land and it is not something we are going to tolerate."
"The prime minister of India is the only person in the country who is under the impression that the Chinese have not taken any land from India. I recently met some ex-army people, even a delegation from Ladakh which clearly said that 2,000 square kilometres of our Indian territory have been taken over by Chinese," Gandhi said.
They also said that many of the patrolling points that used to be in Indian territory are now firmly in Chinese hands, he said.
His remarks come a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said some people deliberately spread wrong news about the China issue, knowing it is not true, for politics and by talking about some land, which was taken by China in 1962, they give the impression this happened recently -- comments that are viewed as a dig at Gandhi.
"Sometimes, they talk about some land, which was taken by China in 1962. But they will not tell you the truth. They will give you the impression that this thing happened yesterday," he had said without taking names.
Rahul Gandhi has been raising the issue of Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control, alleging that Indian land has been occupied.