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India-China border clash stalls proceedings in parliament again

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said Opposition parties wanted a debate to get full information on the ”Chinese aggression”.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Clashes between India and Chinese troops in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh last week dominated the proceedings in Parliament for the second straight day today as the two Houses witnessed repeated disturbances with the Opposition demanding a discussion on the issue.

As many as 17 Opposition parties, including Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Aam Aadmi Party, MDMK, Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, Janata Dal-United, DMK, Trinamool Congress, and Telugu Desam Party, staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha after Deputy Chairman Harivansh refused a full debate on the 9 December clashes.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Lok Sabha where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi led the walkout after the Opposition members were denied permission to hold a discussion on the skirmishes on which Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had made a statement in both Houses yesterday.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the Opposition parties wanted a debate to get full information on the ”Chinese aggression” and encroachment on Indian territory. He said they had full faith in the capability of the Indian armed forces. But the deputy chairman said there was no notice before the Chair and a debate on the sensitive issue could not be allowed.

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, speaking to the press outside Parliament, accused the government of not holding a discussion on the issue. He said, “All the 17 parties are standing behind the soldiers but we are all concerned about the issue on which there can’t be a compromise. National security is a major concern.”

In his statement in Parliament yesterday, Rajnath said, “The Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from encroaching on our territory, and forced them to withdraw to their posts. Some soldiers from both sides were injured in the skirmish,” he said.

“I would like to assure this House that our forces are fully committed to safeguard our territorial integrity, and are always ready to prevent any attempt against it,” the minister said, adding that no Indian soldier died or suffered serious injuries in the clashes.

Earlier today, over a dozen Opposition parties attended a strategy meeting called by the Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge and later walked out in sync  over the government’s refusal to discuss the border clash.

The participants included the Left parties CPI and CPM, Bihar’s RJD and JDU, Uttar Pradesh’s SP and RLD, Maharashtra’s NCP and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction), and Jammu and Kashmir’s National Conference, among others.