Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday took a swipe at Home Minister Amit Shah for his remarks that India is strong in protecting its borders, and said the truth seems dormant as "everyone knows" the reality of the situation at the country's borders.
"Everyone knows the reality of the 'borders', but the thought is good to keep one's heart happy," he said in a tweet in Hindi, tweaking a couplet from noted Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib.
But Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hit back at Gandhi with another couplet from Ghalib, saying when there is pain in the hand, one takes medicine, but what does one do when the hand itself is a pain. "Hand" is the Congress party's election symbol.
Reacting to the defence minister's tweet, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked in yet another couplet as to what's the outcome of the "red eyes", as he asked Singh to show courage at the border.
His reference was to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vow, before coming to power, that he would show 'red eyes' to China.
Meanwhile, Gandhi in another tweet alleged that the media is muzzled but Indian soldiers know the situation in Ladakh.
"The media is muzzled and terrified. The truth seems dormant. But it flows in the blood of every single Indian army officer and soldier. They know exactly what is happening in Ladakh," he said.
He said this in response to a defence analyst claiming that China has changed the frontlines in Ladakh and occupied Indian territory, but India is talking of "military and diplomatic engagement".
Shah had on Sunday said India's defence policy has gained global acceptance and the world agrees that after the US and Israel, if there is any other country that is able to protect its borders, it is India.
Gandhi has been attacking the government and the prime minister on the border standoff with China and has been asking the government to come clean on the situation.
Asked about Gandhi's statement, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the government was being reluctant in sharing information and accused it of maintaining a "deliberate ambiguity".
"It is time that you shared (information) with us under whatever conditions you like. What is the area which has been encroached and by not doing it, remember, you are creating more doubts, more rumours, more speculation.
"What is the direction and content of the talks? What is the situation and so on and so forth, this is in the interest of the nation, but this government has always been reluctant, when it comes to other parties and that is the tragedy," he noted.
Singhvi accused the government of giving a "step-motherly or step-brotherly" treatment to the opposition party.
The Congress leader said there should be not even the slightest doubt that the Congress stood with the government, with the people of this nation beyond the last mile on India's security, borders, integrity.
"It is not something to be even stated to you, but, it is you, who are treating us in this step brotherly or step motherly fashion. It is for you to decide, how much you share, when to share, in which committee to share, to share with some nominees of which party. But you have treated us as if we are enemies just because we are political adversaries," he said.