New Delhi: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday questioned the "secrecy" over the meeting between Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, an interaction that has raised eyebrows in the political circles.
The Congress first denied in the morning that Gandhi met the Chinese envoy and then made a U-turn hours later.
"The Congress leader met the Chinese ambassador. What is so secret about it? They should make it public. Why should they try to hide it?" Naidu told reporters in reply to a question on the sidelines of an event.
Gandhi took to Twitter in the evening to defend his meeting with the Chinese envoy and said it was his job "to be informed on critical issues", referring to the India-China stand-off.
He said if the government was concerned about his meeting with the Chinese ambassador, they should also question the three Union ministers who are "availing Chinese hospitality when the border stand-off is on".
Gandhi also posted on his Twitter handle a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping sitting on a swing to take a dig at the government.
"And for the record, I am not the guy sitting on the swing while a thousand Chinese troops had physically entered India (sic)," he tweeted, referring to Chinese president's visit to Gujarat in 2014.
Reacting to this, Naidu said there was no need to respond to such comments.
"Diplomatic relations, meeting foreign dignitaries... There is a procedure, there is a practice and it is transparent.
"The prime minister, as the head of the government ... Whenever he goes out for an international conference ... on the sidelines, he meets the heads of the States, holds discussions, and sometimes there is only meeting and greeting. What is there to criticise? I am not able to understand," he said.
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Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 21:58:02 IST