NEW DELHI: No one has intruded on India’s borders nor has any post come under anyone’s custody, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an all-party meeting convened in the aftermath of the bloody clashes in Galwan Valley between Indian and Chinese troops.
With all parties offering strong support to oppose the Chinese aggression on
the Line of Actual Control
(LAC) — barring Congress which asked several questions of when and how PLA troops intruded across the LAC — the PM asserted that Indian troops took the fight to the Chinese in the Galwan Valley clash.
Referring to the violence on the night of June 15, Modi said, “Our 20 soldiers attained martyrdom in Ladakh but they taught a lesson to those who intimidated our motherland.”
The PM said India was doing everything that needed to be done for the protection of borders. “Today, we have the capability so that none can dare to look toward us with ill intention,” he said, adding that the
were capable of acting in different sectors with coordination.
He said this was because of the priority accorded to infrastructure development to make the border areas safer. “The new infrastructure, particularly on the LAC, has improved our patrolling capacity. Those who used to move freely are being interrupted and intercepted by our jawans, which has resulted in tension,” the PM said.
Barring Congress, no other party raised any significant questions over the government’s handling of the Chinese intrusion and said they would support measures to respond to the bloody skirmish in Galwan Valley that resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.
Regional parties like TRS and BJD, as well as Congress allies like DMK and NCP, criticised the Chinese action. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in an oblique criticism of Rahul Gandhi, said the issue of whether Indian troops were carrying arms or not was one to be decided by international agreements and was not a matter of discussion. He also tweeted to say, “PLA must be evacuated from occupying high ground in Galwan Valley… It would be advisable to strategise using diplomatic channels to defuse tension on the border and make China see reason.”
Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, BJP’s estranged partner and Congress’s new ally, said the nation was united and this was the time to be one with the forces, their families and the government.
Sources said the Left parties did not criticise China with CPI warning of proximity to the US and CPM speaking of the principles of Panchsheel.
North-eastern parties firmly warned of Chinese designs. Prem Singh Tamang (SKM) said there was faith in the PM. “Where it comes to national security, the PM has taken landmark decisions,” he said.
CM K Chandrasekhar Rao said the PM’s clarity on
had angered China, as had the government’s emphasis on development. The decision to pursue self-reliance or ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ policies had rattled China, he added.
BJD’s Pinaki Mishra said his party stood with the government fully and unconditionally while BSP leader Mayawati appreciated the detailed presentation by foreign minister S Jaishankar. She spoke of the need to take steps on trade and investment to counter China while stating that this was not the time for politics.
DMK leader M K Stalin said the nation was united on patriotic issues and welcomed the PM’s remarks on China. “Our borders must be protected… We will not retreat when the battle cry is sounded,” he said.
Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav questioned the intent of China and
, and said the government must ensure India did not become a dumping ground for Chinese goods.
West Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee said the all-party discussions would not give out a wrong message and said any queries would be dealt with internally. “We will not bow down our head to China,” she said and added that Chinese investments in telecom, railways and aviation should be curbed. “China is not a democracy. They are a dictatorship and can do what they feel,” she said.
Thackeray said India wanted peace but that did not mean it was weak. It was in the nature of China to betray trust. “I want to laud you, prime minister, for talking to us and India is a strong nation, not a dependent one,” he is understood to have said.