As it became clear that Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC in Ladakh, Opposition parties on Tuesday asked the central government to be firm and stand up to Chinese aggression, and sought clarity on the ground situation at the border.
The Congress accused the government of being a mute spectator when Chinese transgressions were reported from three points in Ladakh. Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said, “Will the PM and Raksha Mantri take the nation into confidence as to how our officers and soldiers were killed when the Chinese were reportedly withdrawing from our territory in the Galwan Valley?… Will the Prime Minister and Defence Minister now come forward and tell the nation as to how much of our territory has been illegally occupied by the Chinese, post April/May 2020?”
Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram also questioned the silence of the Defence Ministry and Prime Minister, and asked, “Can you imagine any other Head of Government not saying a word for 7 weeks since the intrusion of foreign troops into a country?”
“The entire country is shocked and agitated over the heinous crime committed by China against India, when talks are going on…,” Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tweeted late night. “Our martyrs’ blood will not go in vain, we need to respond the enemy by the language they understand…”
Earlier in the day, he asked the PM to give China a “befitting retaliation”, while Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said it is time the country stands up to these incursions.
The CPM demanded an authoritative statement on what transpired. “It is imperative that both the governments immediately initiate high-level talks to defuse the situation,” it said.
BSP leader Danish Ali asked the government to come clean on the situation and act swiftly.
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda of the JD(S) sought an explanation on how Indian soldiers were killed during a de-escalation process. “In national interest, the PM and Raksha Mantri should offer a clearer picture to the nation on the border issue with the Chinese,” he said.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said the government had been indifferent to the threat from China and sought clarity on the ground situation in Ladakh, while CPI general secretary D Raja said the standoff can be resolved through talks.
NC leader Omar Abdullah said that if the soldiers were killed by the Chinese during a “de-escalation process”, “imagine how escalated the situation must be in the first place. This is what happens when the media propagates the government line that asking questions is anti-national.” Later in the day, he tweeted, “Here in lies the problem with a very public ownership (in a marked departure from previous governments) of the surgical strikes after Uri & Pulwama.
How does one react to soldiers deaths in Ladakh at the hands of a much stronger force without appearing weak or reckless?”
NCP leader Sharad Pawar tweeted late night, “Our army officers and jawans have lost their lives while protecting our Nation from Chinese incursions in the Galwan Valley, Ladakh. May they Rest in Peace. Our armed forces will protect our borders with courage and determination. Heartfelt Condolences.”