LAC conflict: Chidambaram poses 10 questions to govt, demands it clear the air

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram said PM Modi’s statement on the issue contradicted those made by the Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and Chief of Army Staff

Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)
Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)
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NH Political Bureau

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday lashed out at PM Narendra Modi over his statement on the ongoing conflict between India and China along the LAC in Ladakh.

While pointing out that the PM had contradicted statements made by the Chief of Army Staff Manoj Mukund Naravane, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chidambaram reiterated Congress’ support to the government at this time of crisis.

“Congress stands by our defence forces and is prepared to make any sacrifice to ensure they are battle-ready,” he said. Addressing the media through video conference, Chidambaram went on to pose 10 questions to the government on behalf of the Congress party and demanded that it should respond to them and clear the air.

Here are the questions posed by him:

  • If no Chinese troops had crossed the LAC and are in Indian territory, what was the ‘face-off’ on June 5-6, 2020?
  • Between May 5 and June 6, what was the issue on which local Indian commanders were talking to their Chinese counterparts?
  • What was the subject matter of the negotiations between the Corps Commanders of the two countries on June 6?
  • We would also like to ask, if no Chinese troops were inside Indian territory, where did the clashes take place on June 15-16?
  • Where were 20 Indian soldiers killed and 85 injured?
  • If no Chinese troops are in Indian territory, why did Foreign Minister Mr Jaishankar’s statement and other statements of MEA demand the “restoration of status quo ante”?
  • What was the meaning of “status quo ante”? What was the meaning of the “disengagement” that the government said was “underway”?
  • If no Chinese troops are inside Indian territory in Ladakh, why did 20 soldiers have to make the supreme sacrifice?
  • Even after the PM’s statement yesterday, China has blamed India for the clashes and has re-asserted its claim to the entire Galwan Valley. What is the government’s answer to this claim? Will the Government of India reject this claim?
  • When the PM said a few days ago that the “sacrifice of our soldiers will not go in vain”, what did he have in mind? Why and where did the soldiers sacrifice their lives, and how will the government ensure that the sacrifice will not be in vain?

“The defence of the nation and its territorial integrity is dear to the heart of every Indian. We, therefore, seek answers to the questions with a view to re-double our commitment and present a picture of unity and solidarity,” Chidambaram said.

It may be recalled here that the PM, in an all-party meeting on Friday, said that “no one has entered Indian territory, no one captured any Indian post”.

Hours after PM Modi’s statement, the Chinese foreign ministry in a written statement made a fresh claim on Galwan Valley. Terming the new claim as a “step by step account of the Galwan clash”, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that “the sovereignty of the Galwan River Valley has always been ours.”

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