After Congress' volte-face, Rahul Gandhi admits to meeting Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui

Putting an end to all speculation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday confirmed that he had, in fact, met with Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui.

"It is my job to be informed on critical issues," Rahul said on Monday, as he admitted to meeting the Chinese ambassador, ex-NSA official Shiv Shankar Menon, and Bhutanese Ambassador Vetsop Namgyel.

File image of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

File image of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Reuters

Going on the offensive, Rahul demanded an explanation from the central government as to why three senior Indian ministers, including Prakash Javadekar, had visited China while the border tensions with the neighbour country had escalated.

The Congress vice-president also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being friendly with Chinese president Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit.

Tweeting a picture of Xi with Modi on a swing, he said, "And for the record, I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India."

Amid the standoff between India and China at the border tri-junction with Bhutan, Congress had earlier on Monday said that Rahul had met the ambassadors of the neighbouring countries on 8 July in New Delhi.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said that envoys of G5, as well as neighbouring countries, meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the vice-president from time to time.

"(Rahul) Gandhi met all three of them. Nobody should try to sensationalise such normal courtesy calls to term them an event like the sources of the Ministry of External Affairs are attempting to do," he had said.

Earlier, a News18 report had pointed to a post on the Chinese Embassy's website that had said that the two "exchanged views" on the "current bilateral relations" between the two nations. The Embassy website has since deleted the post.

Surjewala, however, had denied such media reports on Rahul's meeting with Zhaohui as "fake news". He had also alleged that the report was planted by the External Affairs Ministry and Intelligence Bureau sources.

Congress social media head Ramya had also questioned why the prime minister did not flag the border issue with Xi, during last week's G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The reports come in the wake of India's face-off with Chinese troops in Doka La, a disputed territory between China and Bhutan. Tensions from the long-drawn standoff have been rising as Beijing stated that Xi will not be meeting Modi at the G20 Summit.

Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 19:12 PM

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