Proceedings of the Rajya Sabha adjourned due to a ruckus created by the Opposition MPs in the Wall of House during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Friday. | Photo: ANI
India has been witnessing a huge political clash as parties continue to comment on the recent face-off between the Indian Army and Chinese Army in the border region in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang.
A face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Tawang sector on December 9 led to minor injuries “to a few personnel” from both sides, sources said on Monday (December 12) and noted that both sides immediately disengaged from the area.
As per reports, the Chinese had come heavily prepared with around 300 soldiers but did not expect the Indian side also to be well prepared. On December 9, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops approached the LAC in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh which was contested by Indian troops in a firm and resolute manner.
Soon after the reports of the clash between the neighbouring countries started circulating, the opposition started questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and also disrupted the Parliament’s Winter Session. The Winter Session, which is slated to have 17 working days, began on December 7 and faced several adjournments many times as the opposition created a ruckus over the Tawang clash.
On December 13, members of both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha– including Ranjeet Ranjan, Randeep Singh Surjewala, L. Hanumanthaiah, Jebi Mather, Jajani Patil, Nasir Hussain, Manish Tewari, Manoj Kumar Jha and Priyanka Chaturvedi– gave notices under Rule 267 and Rule 176 of the Rules of Procedure for the suspension of business to conduct a discussion on the December 9 clashes between the forces of India and China at the Tawang border.
The MPs had demanded to suspend Zero Hour and relevant rules relating to Question Hour and other businesses of the day to have a discussion on the issue which needs immediate measures to combat such aggression and protect India;s interests along the international border.Speaking in the Lok Sabha on the day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian Army bravely stopped the Chinese PLA troops from encroaching on Indian territory, and forced them to withdraw to their posts.
“On December 9, 2022, PLA troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of the Tawang sector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner. The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts…In this face-off, a few soldiers on both sides suffered injuries. I’d like to tell this House that none of our soldiers died or suffered any serious injury. Due to the timely intervention of Indian military commanders, PLA soldiers have retreated to their own locations,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha.
According to Reuters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on the same day (December 13) said that the situation at the India-China border was “generally stable,” after both the troops clashed at the border.
However, on Wednesday (December 14), as many as 17 opposition parties (including Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Aam Aadmi Party, MDMK, Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, Janata Dal-United, DMK, Trinamool Congress, and Telugu Desam Party) staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha during `Zero Hour` accusing the government of not holding a discussion over the December 9 clashes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the Indian and Chinese forces at the Tawang sector.
People`s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on the day accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of inaction regarding China occupying Indian land in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
“I had already said they (China) have occupied our land in Ladakh and Arunachal as per a statement given by BJP MP, but the BJP government has done nothing. Our soldiers are beaten up, and they are not allowed to retaliate. This is a sorry state of affairs,” she said.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday hit out at the government and claimed that the Centre has kept people and Parliament in the dark regarding the border situation with China.
“The Modi government has kept the people and the Parliament in the dark. Why is it scared of the truth about China coming out? What is Modi’s interest in hiding the facts about Chinese aggression?” tweeted Owaisi and attached a snippet of a news article regarding “Chinese aggression” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Congress MP Manish Tewari on December 15 asked the government for a detailed discussion over the border situation between India and China and said: “China has, in the meantime, reportedly built substantial military infrastructure all across the Line of Actual Control.
China is unwilling to restore the status quo ante in Ladakh, a situation that puts India at a massive disadvantage. This House has spent no time discussing this crucial issue. I urge the Government to take this matter with utmost seriousness and have a detailed discussion in Parliament with regard to the border situation with China. I, hereby, request permission to raise this matter,” he added.
On Friday also, Tewari gave an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha to discuss the situation at the border with China.
“I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance, namely:- That this House do suspend Zero Hour and relevant rules relating to Question Hour and other businesses of the day to have a detailed discussion on the grave situation at the border with China in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh,” Tewari stated in his letter to Seceretary-General, Lok Sabha.
He had also given an adjournment motion in the Lower House to discuss the “grave situation at the border with China in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh”. The Congress MP asked the government for a detailed discussion over the border situation.
Urging PM Modi and the government to make a statement on the Tawang issue, Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala gave a Suspension of Business Notice under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha on Thursday to discuss the border situation with China. Meanwhile, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday also took a dig at the Narendra Modi government in the Centre for trying to dodge a discussion in Parliament over the India-China Tawang clash by using terms like “lal aankh” and “Chinese glasses” in his tweet in Hindi.
Kharge`s tweet could roughly be interpreted as “the once glaring eyes of the Modi government have been covered with Chinese glasses”. Kharge said, “It seems that the `red eyes` of the Modi government are covered with Chinese glasses. Is it not allowed to speak against China in the Indian Parliament?” Kharge had said in his tweet.
On the day, former president of Congress and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi while flagging a “clear threat from China” amid the ongoing border row, claimed that the neighbouring country is “preparing for war” and alleged that the Centre is “hiding and not accepting it”.
“There is a clear threat from China. The government is trying to hide it and ignore it. But that threat cannot be ignored or hidden. China is making offensive preparation on the side of Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian government is in slumber. It doesn’t want to hear it. China is preparing for war, not for an incursion. If you see the pattern of their weapons, they are preparing for war. Our government is hiding it and is not accepting it,” he said while addressing a press conference in Rajasthan on Friday.
It is pertinent to mention that Rahul Gandhi`s remarks had invited huge backlash as the Centre accused him of “demoralising” the Indian Army and said that “nobody takes him seriously”. Rahul Gandhi`s remarks that “Chinese soldiers are beating up Indian Army personnel in Arunachal Pradesh” have drawn widespread and sharp criticism from several BJP leaders.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President JP Nadda, on Saturday, came down heavily on the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his remarks and said, “No matter how much it is condemned, it is less. Indian army is a symbol of bravery and valour… We also know that he raised questions on the surgical strike and Pulwama. This shows that he doesn’t speak the language of India. He speaks the same language that Pakistan speaks. I condemn such statements, this shows the mentality of Rahul Gandhi toward the country.”
On Tawang face-off, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command said, “In one of the areas with a differing perception of the LAC, PLA patrol transgressed, was contested very firmly which led to some physical violence but was contained…Border areas along Northern Frontier are stable. We are firmly in control.
“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that whether it is Galwan or Tawang, India’s defence forces have always shown courage and displayed their valour on every occasion. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday took to Twitter and said that the Yangtse area in Arunachal Pradesh`s Tawang is fully secured.
“Yangtse area in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh is fully secured now due to adequate deployment of the brave jawans of Indian Army,” Rijiju tweeted on Saturday. However, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday alleged that the Prime Minister has met top Chinese leadership an unprecedented 18 times and recently shook hands with Xi Jinping in Bali.
“China launched an incursion into Tawang shortly thereafter and continues to unilaterally alter the border situation. Why are you not taking the nation into confidence?” he asked.
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