Ladakh face-off: Political lines blur as Opposition leaders back Centre’s stance on China in all-party meet with PM Modi

Leaders of political parties voiced their support for the Government of India during the all-party meet called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the ongoing standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. The meet was called in the wake of a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on June 15.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gave the opening remarks during the all-party meet where he briefed political leaders about the standoff between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “Indian forces are in a high state of preparedness,” Rajnath Singh said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar then briefed the leaders on India’s past and current relationship with China, negotiations prior to the Ladakh face-off and the diplomatic effort underway to negotiate with the Chinese.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded the all-party meet by saying, “Neither has anyone entered our territory nor have any of our posts been occupied by anyone.”

“20 of our soldiers were martyred in Ladakh but they taught a lesson to whoever raised their eyes towards mother India,” PM Modi said, adding, “We have the capability that no one can even look at even an inch of our land.”

The Prime Minister also told political leaders of various parties that the work of border infrastructure is in national interest and will continue at a fast pace. “I assure every political leader that our forces are absolutely capable of protecting our territory. We have given them all the freedom to take corrective measures.

The list of invitees for the meet did trigger a political slugfest with parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) crying foul over them not being invited to the all-party meet. Government sources said that those with more than five members in the Lok Sabha, northeastern political parties and those with regional relevance were invited.

Here are excerpts from what leaders of some of the 15 political parties invited to the all-party meet said.

Congress

Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress (INC) said “We failed to use all avenues of talks to ease LAC tension, lost valuable time, and the result was the loss of 20 lives.”

Gandhi also posed seven questions to the Government of India ranging from when the Chinese first encroached on Indian Territory in Ladakh to whether the Centre sees it as a failure of intelligence.

Janata Dal (United)

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar said that the Chinese goods…

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