Top Union ministers including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh today briefed Opposition leaders on the ongoing standoff with China and the situation in Kashmir. Soon after the meeting, EAM spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that the detailed briefing was appreciated by all Opposition parties. Speaking to ANI, Baglay said, “All participants expressed strong support for India’s approach and also for the need for national unity. The importance of India and China to remain engaged through diplomacy was underlined during the meeting.” The meeting, which took place at Singh’s official residence in Delhi, was reportedly attended by some top stalwarts from Opposition parties including the Congress, Left and Samajwadi Party (SP).
Further in his statement, Baglay further said, “There was widespread appreciation of the Astana understanding between India and China stating that differences between them should not become disputes.” He also said that the unique nature of very close and longstanding India – Bhutan relationship was recognised during the meet.
The briefing by Singh and Swaraj took place in the presence of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and other top officials from the Central government, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The meet comes ahead of the crucial parliament session which starts from Monday. During the meeting, Opposition leaders were also told about the prevailing situation along the Sino-Indian border and Jammu and Kashmir and the government action, PTI quoted officials saying.
The report also stated that senior leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress) Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Tariq Anwar (NCP), Sharad Yadav, K C Tyagi (JD-U) and Derek O’Brien (TMC) were in attendance.
Lately the Opposition leaders have been criticising the Narendra Modi-led Central government for the ongoing standoff at the Sikkim border and PM Modi’s silence over the same. Congress VP Rahul Gandhi has targetted PM Modi over government’s policy in Kashmir. His allegations came soon after the terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatra Pilgrims that took place in Anantnag on July 10.
Rahul Gandhi had also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘silence’ on China. On Wednesday, he accused Modi of pursuing policies that created space for terrorists in Kashmir. He also alleged that the prime minister’s pursuit of short-term political gains from the BJP-PDP alliance in the state has cost the country dear and resulted in innocent lives being lost.