Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has sparked controversy after he flagged the electric vehicle (EV) trial run of MG Motor, which is owned by Shanghai-based Chinese automotive SAIC Motor.
Amid the ongoing border tension at the Line of Actual Control, the tech trial run between Delhi and Agra was flagged off by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi and Rawat in the presence of other dignitaries from the government on November 25.
We are proud to participate in the first-ever tech trial run from Delhi to Agra with the MG ZS EV. The #NHforEV2020 Tech Trial Run was flagged off by @M_Lekhi, and General Shri Bipin Singh Rawat at India Gate today. Know more: https://t.co/yVDG6ACwRa#ChangeWhatYouCan #NHForEV pic.twitter.com/ICX95Q8qHr
— Morris Garages India (@MGMotorIn) November 25, 2020
Several Twitter users questioned their decision to attend the event organised by Chinese-owned car company.
“Surprised to see the Chief of Defence Staff & former army chief go to an event organized MG Motors – a company owned by the Chinese Communist Party. This a day after more Chinese apps were banned,” one user wrote on Twitter.
Another said that 20 Indian Army soldiers made supreme sacrifice at the Galwan when PLA attacked them with stone-age weapons in June 2020. "But we forgot and are doing business with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. How ungrateful nation we are," Ravinder Bhandari tweeted.
Speaks volumes about Bipin Singh Rawat. Shameful optics! https://t.co/D2fcJ0jnAz— Amit Panday (@amitspeakshere) November 27, 2020
Hope Shri Bipin Rawat and Ms.Lekhi know that this is a Chinese car company. While our soldiers are dying at the border our general is flagging off Chinese cars? Jai hind. https://t.co/krgVoQbeZs— Abhishek (@abywitte) November 27, 2020
The Chinese and Indian militaries held the 8th round of Corps Commander-level meeting on November 6 to resolve the military standoff that erupted in May.
The situation at LAC deteriorated following at least three attempts by Chinese soldiers to "intimidate" Indian troops along the northern and southern bank of Pangong lake area between August 29 and September 8 where even shots were fired in the air for the first time at the LAC in 45 years.
The diplomatic status between both countries remains tense and India even banned a host of Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat and PubG, and took steps to restrict foreign direct investment (FDI) and imports from China.
Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the military standoff.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly also deployed an equal number of troops.