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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, November 16: Congress on Wednesday turned heat on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for walking over to Chinese President Xi Jinping, while sharing names of 20 Indian soldiers who had died in the Galwan valley clash in eastern Ladakh with the People’s Liberation Army.

Modi had taken the initiative to walk over to Xi on Tuesday while Chinese President was walking around at the Gala dinner at the G20 Summit. Modi was engaged in conversations with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Congress tagged the small video clip of Modi’s handshake with Xi and shared the names of the 20 soldiers who had lost their lives in the Galwan clash.

India and China have been in an eyeball to eyeball situation in Eastern Ladakh since April 2020 after the Chinese PLA sought to change the status quo of the line of actual control as part of the ‘Salami Slicing’ strategy of Beijing to grab lands of the neighbouring countries. While Modi had been keeping a distance from Xi, as seen in Samarkand during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, wary of the political pitfalls in the country. However, Modi on Tuesday evening took initiative to walk over to Xi, while he was seen mostly talking as Chinese President maintained tight lips.

Congress has sought to turn heat on Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for Modi-Xi handshake even while the Opposition party has been found to be too feeble in attacking the Prime Minister over the government’s handling of China. Congress and BJP have, however, been engaged in war of words over handling of China.

While the BJP, including Union Ministers, has been aiming at former Prime Minister Narendra Modi for security lapses before and after the 1962 War with China, Congress has been reminding that the PLA remains at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said on occasions said that the bilateral relations between India and China cannot be normal until the border is disturbed. However, the bilateral trade with China is booming, with trade balance excessively in favour of Beijing.

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