New Delhi, December 20
A day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the Indian Army would not let China unilaterally change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Congress upped the ante on the issue asking the government when it would stop legitimising Chinese aggression in the name of “varied perceptions of the LAC”.
The Congress fielded its general secretary and party’s chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh to hit back after Jaishankar, in a statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday, objected to the use of term “beating” by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in context of Indian soldiers.
“We agree with the External Affairs Minister who said that our jawans should be respected, honoured and appreciated as they stand strong against our adversaries. Was it this respect that led PM Modi to say that no one had entered the Indian territory after 20 soldiers gave up their lives defending the borders on June 19, 2020?” asked Ramesh.
Quoting the EAM who said yesterday that relations with China were “not normal”, Ramesh asked, “If so, why have we never called the Chinese Ambassador and issued a démarche as we do with the Pakistan High Commissioner? Why is our trade dependence on China at a record high with imports at $95 billion in 2021-22 and the trade deficit at $74 billion?”
Ramesh, a former minister, also asked why Indian troops conducted military drill with the Chinese troops at Russia’s Vostok-22 exercise in September.
Determined to press demands for a discussion on the LAC issue in both Houses, the Congress asked the government today why it was adopting a “reactive stance rather than a proactive one”.
Referring to Jaishankar’s remarks that “we are pressuring China”, Ramesh said: “Why did we withdraw from our advantageous position in the Kailash range without ensuring a full restoration of the pre-2020 status quo? Why have we not been more aggressive and made counter-intrusions to compel the Chinese to withdraw as we did in 1986 and 2013? When will we stop legitimising Chinese aggression by referring to ‘differences in perception’ rather than asserting our claim?”
On minister’s statement that India would not let China change the status unilaterally, Ramesh asked, “Has the status quo not been altered by Chinese troops 18 km deep in Depsang for the last two years?”
Congress MPs have since December 13 been giving notices for adjournment of business in both Houses of Parliament to discuss the LAC issue but presiding officers have declined these.
Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar has repeatedly asked the Opposition to give notices “as per rules”.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier informed Parliament that the Indian soldiers repelled the Chinese PLA who tried to alter the status quo along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh’s Yangtse sector unilaterally on December 9. He also said that there had been no fatalities or serious casualties on the Indian side.
#China #Congress #indian army #jagdeep dhankhar #jairam ramesh #rahul gandhi #s jaishankar
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