Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address parliament on the India-China border row shortly. The minister’s address is expected to take place around 3 pm — at the beginning of the proceedings in the Lok Sabha. The government has been under consistent attack from the Congress, spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi, over the stand-off with China at the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border between the two countries.
The matter was raised on Sunday at the parliament’s Business Advisory Committee meeting, meant to discuss and slot agenda for business for the coming session.
Asked whether a statement will be made on the India-China stand-off, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had said keeping in mind the “sensitivities of the situation, and the strategic points”, the government will take a decision. The leaders, he had said, would be briefed at a meeting on Tuesday.
The government came under pressure to give a statement following the repeated transgressions by soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army at Pangong Lake and several other areas in Ladakh since April. The matter sharply escalated in June, with 20 Indian soldiers being killed in the line of duty on June 15 — a first in more than four decades.
Twice over the last three weeks, Chinese troops had engaged in provocative action in the south bank Pangong Tso, a glacial lake.
But India was able to “prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo” at the LAC, the Foreign Ministry had said.
The last action on August 31 was a daytime operation during which Indian soldiers were surrounded by Chinese soldiers, who were trying to regain the heights that are being dominated by the Indian Army.
Every time after the Chinese action, Rahul Gandhi has demanded that the government reveal the actual situation at the Line of Actual Control and how it proposed to resolve it.
Days after the June 15 “violent face-off” at Galwan Valley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Ladakh to boost morale of the soldiers, triggering an attack from the Congress.
At an all-party meeting, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi delivered a sharp critique on being kept “in the dark even at this late stage”.