The all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 19, to discuss the situation along the India-China border is underway. In the virtual meeting, PM Modi and leaders of most of the major parties are expected to share their views through a video conference. The meeting comes after 20 India Army personnel, including a colonel, died in a violent clash with Chinese troops in Galwan valley in Ladakh. Presidents of various political parties, including the BJP, Congress, TMC, AIADMK, DMK, TRS, JDU, BJD, LJP, BSP, SP, Shiv Sena and NCP among others, are taking part in this virtual meeting. Earlier, Opposition parties, including the Congress, had urged the government to be transparent about the situation on the border and slammed its handling of the issue.
PM Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, FM Sitharaman, EAM and leaders of different political parties, who are present in the all-party meeting via video-conferencing, pay tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in Galwan Valley clash.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gave the opening remarks during the all-party meet where he briefed political leaders about the standoff between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “Indian forces are in a high state of preparedness,” Rajnath Singh said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar then briefed the leaders on India’s past and current relationship with China, negotiations prior to the Ladakh face-off and the diplomatic effort underway to negotiate with the Chinese.
PM Modi assured in the All party Meeting today that neither anyone has intruded into our territory nor took over any post. The Prime Minister said that Indian forces are doing what they have to do to protect country, whether it is deployment, action or counter-action.
In the all-party meeting, most political parties in the opposition backed the government stand on against China while congress sought details of intrusion from the government.
Here are excerpts from what leaders of some of the 15 political parties invited to the all-party meet said:
Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi said, ‘Nation needs assurance that status quo ante restored. What is the current status of Mountain strike corps? Opposition parties should be briefed regularly.’ (ANI quotes source).
According to PTI, Gandhi said that the country wants assurance from the government that status quo ante will be restored along LAC and China will revert to original position. The Congress president said, “We failed to use all avenues of talks to ease LAC tension, lost valuable time, and the result was loss of 20 lives.” She also asked whether there was a failure of intelligence.
Janata Dal (Secular) Leader and Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda
Ahead of the meeting, Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda wrote to Modi suggesting that the meeting should be preceded by a “presentation to the opposition leaders on the ground situation, and the progress of talks”. He said the presentation should be done by senior government and military officials, and added that while classified information could be kept secret, “truthful information” could be shared with opposition members.
He went on to make four other suggestions that included toning down of nationalist rhetoric to prevent further escalation. He urged the leaders to refrain from using intemperate language and politicising the armed forces’ presence in order to have a fruitful discussion on the sensitive national security issue.
Left party leaders
Left party leaders, however, pointed out that the government should move forward in the direction of India’s non-alignment foreign policy and were the only parties to clearly advocate an anti-war approach between the two countries.
Communist Party of India General Secretary D. Raja
The Communist Party of India general secretary D. Raja spoke on the “need to resist US efforts to drag us into their alliance”.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury emphasised on the principles of Panchsheel Treaty between India and China in 1954 in which the countries agreed upon five principles of peaceful coexistence.
West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee
TMC leader Mamata Banerjee said at the meeting to not let China enter telecom, railway and aviation sectors in India. “We will face some problems but we won’t allow the Chinese to enter,” ANI quoted Banerjee as saying as per sources. Banerjee also said China is not a democracy. They are a dictatorship. They can do what they feel. “We, on the other hand, have to work together. India will win, China will lose. Speak with unity. Think with unity. Work with unity. We are solidly with the Government.”
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar
NCP Chief and Former Defence Minister Sharad Pawar said that issues of whether soldiers carried arms or not are decided by international agreements and we need to respect such sensitive matters, ANI reports sources as saying.
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha’s Prem Singh Tamang
Sikkim Krantikari Morcha chief and Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang backed PM Modi. He said during the meeting that “we have full faith in the PM. In the past too, when it comes to national security, PM has taken landmark decisions”, ANI reports sources as saying.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief Sukhbir Badal
Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal said this is not the right time to question the handling of the situation. India is with the PM. Let’s give the message to China that we are with the PM.
Manipur Chief Minister and NPP’s Conrad Sangma
NPP’s Conrad Sangma said, “Infrastructure work along the border should not stop. China sponsored activities in Myanmar and Bangladesh is worrying. PM has been working on North East infrastructure and it must go on.”
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) Head Nitish Kumar
JDU chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said there was nationwide anger against China. There should be no differences among us. We are together. Parties should not show any disunity that can be explored by other nations. It is our duty to be one and support the Centre. (ANI)
“China’s action has led to a situation wherein the entire nation is yearning for revenge. There is outrage over the incident,” Kumar added.
The JDU Chief alleged that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by a virus that originated in a “biological lab in China’s Wuhan”, and seems to be an unnatural organism on account of its being immune to changes in temperature, climate, and topography.
The chief minister also sought a review of past trade agreements with China so that import of items manufactured in the neighbouring country was restricted.
“Toys manufactured in China have a high amount of plastic and therefore pose ecological hazards. Besides, its cheap electronic goods are contributing enormously to electronic waste,” he said. “If China is insulting us, we must not take it lying down. If it has plans of capturing a territory falling in India, it must be told resoundingly that this will not be allowed. We all are with the Centre on this issue.
China’s stand on India is known. India wanted to give respect to China. But what did China do in 1962. On Chinese products, Kumar said Goods from China flooding Indian markets have major problems. They’re plastic heavy, aren’t eco-friendly and they harm the environment. Electronic waste associated with them is high. Chinese products don’t even last long.
Samajwadi Party (SP) Leader Ram Gopal Yadav
Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav said, ‘Nation is one. ‘Neeyat’ of Pakistan and China is not good. India will not be China’s dumping ground. Impose 300 per cent duty on Chinese goods.’
Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray said India wants peace but that doesn’t mean we are weak. ‘China’s nature is betrayal. India is ‘Mazboot’ not ‘Majboor’. Our government has the ability to – ‘Aankhien Nikalkar Haath Me de dena’…We are all one. This is the feeling. We are with you, PM. We are with our forces and their families.’ (ANI)
Biju Janata Dal Leader Pinaki Mishra
BJD’s Pinaki Mishra said at the All Party meeting that Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s appeal to all parties is not to indulge in a blame game at this point. We must be in lockstep with the Government, the entire country needs to talk in one voice. “Sarkar ko jawab dena padega, strong action will have to be initiated (against China). Whatever that action may be, the BJD will fully support the Government,” Mishra was quoting as saying by ANI.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Chief M.K. Stalin
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin on Friday backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the China issue and said that everyone is united when it comes to Patriotism.
Taking part in the virtual all party meeting conveyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the situation in the India-China border areas Stalin said, “We are united when it comes to patriotism.”
He also welcomed the recent statements by the Prime Minister on the China issue.
YSR Congress Chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy
Jagan Mohan Reddy began his speech by expressing deepest anguish over the death of 20 brave soldiers who displayed exemplary courage while protecting sovereignty of the country at Galwan Valley. He said he, on behalf of the state, saluted their supreme sacrifice.
At the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, via video conference, he said that Andhra Pradesh stands by the Centre for whatever strategy it adopts to tackle the situation on the border.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) President said he had complete faith and trust in Modi’s leadership and exuded confidence that he would navigate the nation successfully even through the Galwan crisis and India will emerge stronger and resilient.
“I stand by you not only as President of YSR Congress Party but also as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. I would like to convey the wholehearted support of 6 crore people of my state,” he said.
Lavishing praise on Modi, Jagan Mohan Reddy said India became an economic and diplomatic power house with the Prime Minister extensively visiting nations across the globe and building strategic partnerships which propelled India to the forefront.
“This established India as a global power to reckon with and a lighthouse for other nations. We have gained prominence in the global sphere and it is quite evident from the Prime Minister’s most successful foreign policy initiatives which secured India membership in the top 3 international controlled regimes for missiles, arms and bio-weapons.”
Telangana Rashtra Samithi President and Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao
The chief minister suggested to PM Modi that the country should pursue long-term and short-term strategies to counter China. He also said that the Telangana government would stand by the Centre in its decisions. Participating in the meeting as the president of the TRS party, KCR expressed that China and Pakistan have the habit of creating trouble and an atmosphere of conflict when they have problems internally.
What we require now is ran neethi (war strategy) but not raj neethi (political strategy), was Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s advice to PM Modi.
“Have a strategic partnership with countries, which are friendly with us. Join the D group as suggested by the UK. Join the Oran alliance. Repel the Huawei Company’s strategy. We have to act with a strategy,” advised KCR in the meeting.
Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) Chief Chirag Paswan
Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan on Saturday said that during the all-party meeting yesterday on the India- China border areas, his party has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restrict the import of non-essential products from China in order to give a boost to the vision of self-reliant India that may affect Beijing financially.
Speaking to ANI, Paswan said, “We need to restrict the import of non-essential Chinese products, I have urged PM for the same. Limits are crossed when even lord idols are imported from China. I have urged that whatever improvement needs to be done in the business or foreign policies between India and China should be done and restrictions should be imposed on import of Chinese products.”
“By doing so not only the vision of self-reliant India will get support but China will be affected financially,” he added.
Paswan further added that LJP will stand with PM Modi’s decision in future regarding India and China issue.
“The situation created by China today is condemnable. On one hand, most countries of the world consider China responsible for this pandemic (coronavirus), on the other hand, China is trying to enter India, and they martyred our soldiers. It is extremely condemnable,” said Paswan.
“Today during the all-party meeting, I am happy that all the parties came together to support whatever decision would be taken by PM Modi in future. I also convinced PM Modi, our Defence Minister, Foreign Minister and our Home Minister, on behalf of my party. We do not believe in war but whenever someone has tried to harm India, our PM has always reverted in their language only,” he added. (ANI)
Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday condemned the killing of soldiers who lost their lives in a violent clash with the Chinese army
“The Prime Minister’s statement that our soldiers sacrificed their lives while killing the enemy was a heartfelt tribute to them on the country’s behalf. Now, it is the special responsibility of the Central and the state governments to provide all possible help to their families and a government job to a family member within three months,” the former UP Chief Minister’s tweet read in Hindi.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK’s E.K. Palaniswami
In a gesture of extending support for the Central government, Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam on Friday said the AIADMK would firmly stand behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre, and the Armed Forces in defending the country’s borders, and would back all proposed measures to be taken by them in this regard.
Panneerselvam said this during the all-party meeting convened through video conference by the PM on Friday to discuss the ongoing Indo-China face-off. Paying tributes to martyred soldiers at Galwan Valley, the Dy CM said that the country has been subjected to facing this aggressive posturing from the Chinese side, during the ongoing pandemic.
- RJD, AAP, AIMIM protest at not being invited
- Earlier in the day, the exclusion of some opposition parties from the all-party meeting had the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) fuming.
- After coming in for criticism from parties such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and RJD that they had not received any invitation to the meet, sources clarified that only recognised national parties, those with over five MPs in the Lok Sabha, leading parties from the Northeast and parties with Union Cabinet Ministers had been invited.