All party meeting discusses border tension with China
An all-party meeting called by PM Narendra Modi to discuss the situation along the India-China border saw leaders of major political parties putting across their views on the sensitive issue
An all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the situation along the India-China border on Friday saw leaders of major political parties putting across their views on the sensitive issue.
The virtual meeting began with participants paying tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the violent face-off with Chinese troops in East Ladakh earlier this week.
Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were seen standing in silence as a mark of respect for the fallen army men.
Singh and Jaishankar spoke on the stand-off at the meeting, according to early visuals.
The source added that CPI leader D. Raja spoke about the need to resist US efforts to drag India into their alliance while CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechuri stressed on the principles of Panchsheel.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao, JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, DMK''s M K Stalin, YSR Congress Party''s YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray were among those who attended the meeting.
The government had invited presidents of major political parties for the meet.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, have been asking the government to be transparent about the situation on the border and slammed its handling of the issue.
The source said that most of the northeast parties also firmly stood with the Prime Minister and warned about Chinese designs. The Congress President Sonia Gandhi while stressing that all opposition parties stand firmly with the defence forces urged the prime minister to share important details with the opposition “so that we may present to the world a picture of unity and solidarity.” Asking some pertinent questions , Sonia Gandhi said that “the entire country would like an assurance that status quo ante would be restored and China will revert back to the original position on Line of Actual Control.”
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, meanwhile, said that issues of whether soldiers carried arms or not are decided by international agreements and we need to respect such sensitive matters, the source said.
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar said that there is nationwide anger against China.
The JD-U leader, which is an alliance partner of the BJP in Bihar, said that there should be no differences among us and we are together, the source said.
Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray at all-party meet said, “India wants peace but that doesn’t mean we are weak. China’s nature is betrayal. India is 'Mazboot' not 'Majboor'. Our government has the ability to - 'Aankhien Nikalkar Haath Me de dena'.”
TMC leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at all-party meeting said, “Don’t let China enter telecom, railway and aviation sectors. We will face some problems but we won’t allow the Chinese to enter. China is not a democracy. They are a dictatorship. They can do what they feel. We, on the other hand, have to work together. India will win, China will lose. Speak with unity. Think with unity. Work with unity. We are solidly with the Govt”
Modi has asserted that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers will not go in vain.
Defence Minister Singh had said that Indian soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.