Leaders of Opposition parties, including Congress leader and MP Sonia Gandhi, on Wednesday, protested in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premises, demanding a discussion on the India-China face-off at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
The protest was led by Gandhi, and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. Shashi Tharoor and P Chidambaram also participated in the protest. Members of Parliament of 12 other Opposition parties, including Communist Party of India, CPI-Marxist, RJD, JDU, Shiv Sena, DMK and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also took part in the protest.
The politicians demanded answers from the government and also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence on the issue.
Opposition parties have been demanding a discussion on the transgression in Parliament since December 12. Several Opposition MPs have given adjournment notices in both Houses of Parliament, seeking a discussion on the issue.
On Wednesday, the Parliament proceedings began at 12 noon after it was adjourned for an hour, following protests by the Opposition parties regarding discussion on the Tawang issue.
Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang sector on December 9, the Indian Army had said in a statement, reported PTI. The face-off, near Yangtse along the LAC, resulted in “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides”.
Sonia Gandhi leads Opposition charge
Congress parliamentary party chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday lashed out at the BJP saying that government’s “stubborn” refusal to allow a discussion in Parliament on the repeated Chinese incursions shows “its disrespect for democracy”, reported The Indian Express.
“The whole nation stands with our vigilant soldiers who repelled these attacks under difficult conditions. The Government, however, stubbornly refuses to allow a discussion on the issue in Parliament. As a result, Parliament, political parties and the people remain ignorant of the true situation on the ground,” Gandhi said.
“When facing a significant national challenge, it has been the tradition in our country to bring Parliament into confidence. A debate can shed light on several critical questions. Why is China emboldened to continually attack us? What preparations have been made to repel these attacks, and what more needs to be done? What is the government’s policy to deter China from future incursions? Given that we continue to have a severe trade deficit with China, importing far more than we export, why is there no economic response to China’s military hostility? What is the government’s diplomatic outreach to the global community?” the former Congress president added.
“This refusal to allow a parliamentary debate on such a matter of grave national concern – shows disrespect for our democracy, and reflects poorly on the government’s intentions. It demonstrates its inability to bring the nation together,” said Gandhi.