Shashi Tharoor
Shashi Tharoor
Photo: PTI

Earlier this week, a clash at the Indo-China border in eastern Ladakh had left 20 Indian Army soldiers dead, and others injured. Soon after the meeting, Army officials had said that the violent altercation had happened as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to "unilaterally change" the status quo during de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh. The army had said that the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level had been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.

Addressing an All-Party meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi however said that Chinese troops did not intrude into the Indian territory. This in turn sparked an uproar, with many Congress leaders slamming the government.

The Centre later issued a clarification regarding the same.

Speaking about the same on Saturday afternoon, Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor said that he was "perturbed" by the Prime Minister's comments.

"I am perturbed by our PM's statement that unwittingly provides ammunition to the Chinese side to claim that the fighting occurred on their territory, not ours. This desire to put short-term domestic political messaging ahead of long-term strategic considerations is NOT is not in our national interest," Tharoor said.

He added that if the Prime Minister should be advised if he did not "know better".

"Twenty jawans died fighting to protect our borders. The least that political leaders can do to honour their memory is to stand up for the cause for which they gave their lives," he added.

Other Congress leaders too have criticised the statements made by the Prime Minister. Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said that the comments "have left practically everyone baffled and bewildered".

"The Prime Minister said that no outsider was inside Indian territory in Ladakh," the Congress leader said, adding that this contradicted earlier statements made by the Chief of Army Staff, the Defence Minister and the Foreign Minister.

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