New Delhi, Aug 30: Terming China's new map that includes Arunachal Pradesh, a "very serious" issue, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak on it.
He was interacting with the media at the airport while leaving for Karnataka's Mandya to launch the party's Gruha Lakshami scheme. "I have come from Ladakh and our Prime Minister has said that not a single inch of our land has been taken. It is false," he said.
"Everyone knows that China has usurped our land," the former Congress president asserted.
When asked about China's new map including Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, the Congress leader said, "The issue of map is a very serious topic, as they have intruded on our land and the Prime Minister should speak on that too."
His remarks came a day after in what could lead to yet another diplomatic flare-up, China on August 28 released what it called the "2023 edition of the standard map of China" showing Aksai Chin and the whole of Arunachal Pradesh within its territory, according to reports quoting local Chinese media.
The map was released by China's ministry of natural resources, they said. The latest development has come four months after Beijing had announced in April that it will "standardise" names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
Also, the release of the map has come at a time when the New Delhi G20 summit is less than a fortnight away, which the Chinese president Xi Jinping is also expected to attend. The G20 summit is scheduled to be held between September 9 and 10.
India has always asserted that Arunachal Pradesh has "always been" and will "always be" an integral part of the country. On Tuesday, India lodged a strong protest with China over the release of a so-called "standard map" by it, which showed Indian territory under its jurisdiction.
"We have today lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so-called 2023 "standard map” of China that lays claim to India’s territory," External Affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Tuesday.
"We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question," he added.
The protest lodged by New Delhi on the development came just hours after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar while speaking to a television channel dismissed the "standard map" released by China on August 28, showing parts of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh within its territory.