In the wake of the standoff between Indian and Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh, the Congress Wednesday sought to corner the government over claims about Chinese incursions in Arunachal Pradesh by a BJP MP from that state. The opposition party asked the government to come clean on the issue and demanded the convening of a special session of Parliament to discuss issues such as national security.
Facing criticism from the BJP for its attack on the government, the Congress has also decided to observe ‘Shaheedon Ko Salaam Divas’ (martyrs’ day) on June 26. The party will hold candlelight vigils and launch an online campaign called ‘Speak Up For Our Jawans’.
Addressing a press conference, senior party leader Manish Tewari said that Tapir Gao, BJP MP from Arunachal East, has said in a television interview that the “People’s Liberation Army, on both sides of the Subansiri river in Asapila and Longju sectors in the upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, have occupied territory on the Indian side of the McMahon Line”.
Tewari said that according to Gao, the Chinese Army had constructed bridges, roads, houses and helipads at Asapila and Majha areas in the district.
“Gao further goes on to say that the PLA has occupied a base of the Indian Army… Remember the Prime Minister of India at the all-party meeting had said that no posts of the Indian Army have been occupied by the People’s Liberation Army. Gao seems to contradict the Prime Minister…
“This is the not the first time that Gao has made these revelations…These are extremely serious claims,” Tewari said.
Congress Lok Sabha MP from Assam Gaurav Gogoi asked the government to be more vigilant in the Northeast and borders. “We demand that the Government of India does not look at what is happening in Arunachal Pradesh or Ladakh as isolated incidents. This is a grand design and this needs to be responded…” he said. He also demanded convening of a special session of Parliament, keeping in mind both social distancing and the importance of national security.
Tewari slammed the government for not allowing Parliamentary Standing Committees to meet virtually. “It is extremely unfortunate while you can have Russia, India, China trilateral summits virtually, while the G-20 can be held virtually and all-party meetings on China can be held virtually, this Government has walked the extra mile in order to hide behind rules, in order to escape Parliamentary oversight…”
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