Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, June 19, called for an all-party meeting to discuss the India-China face-off in Ladakh. The meeting, attended by leaders of 20 political parties, comes in the backdrop of the loss of 20 Indian soldiers during a de-escalation process in the Galwan valley, on the intervening night of 15 and 16 June.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister said that no intrusion on Indian territory has taken place along the LAC and no Indian post has been captured by China.
Modi said, “I assure you all that our security forces are fully capable of protecting our borders.” He also expressed that India wants peace and friendship, but upholding the sovereignty is foremost. In the meeting, he also added that the Army has been granted full freedom for taking any appropriate action.
“Whether it is deployment, action, counter-action- air, land or sea, whatever our armed forces have to do to protect our country they will do,” he said. He also said that India possesses the capability that not a single inch of land would be captured and said, “India’s armed forces have the capability to move into multiple sectors at one go.”
Government of India statement on yesterday’s All-Party meeting. pic.twitter.com/VeRHRptPdR
— ANI (@ANI) June 20, 2020
According to The Wire, “Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, YSR Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi all voiced support to the government and either called for a strong military response or an economic boycott of Chinese goods.”
However, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked the prime minister whether there was ay intelligence failure on the border stand-off and said, “country wants assurance from govt that status quo ante would be restored along LAC and China will revert to the original position.” She in her introductory remarks said that the party is in dark regarding various aspect related to the border crisis and said that the meeting should have convened way before.
CPI’s D Raja said that the government must resist the US while Sitaram Yechuri stressed on following the Panchsheel – Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Yechuri said, “Both sides would implement the disengagement understanding. Neither side would take any action to escalate matters and instead, ensure peace and tranquillity as per bilateral agreements and protocols.”
Mamata Banerjee expressed her concern on non-kinetic intrusion by China and 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.” She also added that the nation should fight China unitedly and said, “India will win, China will lose. Speak with unity. Think with unity. Work with unity. We are solidly standing with the government,” as reported by The Print.
Moreover, parties from the Northeast stood in solidarity with the government and warned China’s interference in the region. The region shares the border with China and has also seen various face-off in past including 1962 aggression of China and recent Doklam stand-off. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha’s Prem Singh Tamang said, “We have full faith in the PM. In the past too, when it comes to national security, PM has taken landmark decisions.” Meanwhile, Meghalaya’s CM Conrad Sangma said that infrastructure development in the Northeast should go on.
Dear @DefenceMinIndia @PMOIndia, Just wish to know the criteria for inviting political parties for tomorrow's #AllPartyMeet on #GalwanValley. I mean the grounds of inclusion/exclusion. Because our party @RJDforIndia hasn't received any message so far.
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) June 18, 2020
Opposition parties asked the government to be transparent in matters pertaining to India’s border. However, Aam Aadmi Party, RJD and AIMIM expressed disappointment for not being invited in the meeting. Sanjay Singh of AAP tweeted, “There is a strange ego-driven government at the centre. AAP has a government in Delhi and is the main opposition in Punjab. But on a vital subject, AAP’s views are not needed? The country is waiting for what the Prime Minister will say at the meeting.”