Amid reports that China is still very well present in the disputed Doklam area, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met with Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering in Delhi to discuss the “political situation in the region”. Sharing the picture of their meeting on Twitter, the Congress chief wrote, “I had an excellent meeting today with the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr Lotay Tshering. We discussed the political situation in the region and other matters of common interest. I look forward to continuing our dialogue in the future.”
Interestingly, the Congress chief is in the Opposition and his meeting with the Bhutanese prime minister has raised many eyebrows on social media. The Gandhi scion has been attacking the Narendra Modi government over the Chinese presence in Doklam – a plateau between India, China and Bhutan – even as both countries decided to mutually withdraw their troops.
The government refused to accept the reports and claimed that there was no change in the status-quo at Doklam. However, media reports, citing satellite imagery, claimed that China has built new roads in the region after Doklam standoff.
“Chinese haven’t evacuated Doklam, they have built huge infrastructures in the territory and yet PM Modi when he visits China, has a “conversation without agenda” and doesn’t discuss these issues,” the Congress president had said during his Interaction with London-based Indian Journalists’ Association in August this year.
The meeting also holds significance as the Doklam standoff between India and China was started after New Delhi on Bhutan’s request stopped a Chinese construction party from building a road in the disputed region. Doklam is claimed by both China and Bhutan. India, however, supports Bhutan’s claim as both countries share a very strong diplomatic and people to people ties.