New Delhi: As many as 17 opposition parties on Wednesday staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha accusing the government of not holding a discussion over the December 9 clashes along the Line of Actual Control between the Indian and Chinese forces at the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh.
Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Aam Aadmi Party, MDMK, Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, Janata Dal-United, DMK, Trinamool Congress, and Telugu Desam Party were among the 17 parties that walked out from the House during ‘Zero Hour’. Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge among other Opposition leaders raised the issue to hold a detailed discussion on the clash when the House assembled for the day and Deputy Chairman Harivansh allowed ‘Zero Hour’ so that parliamentarians could raise their issues. As the Opposition’s demand to hold the discussion on the India-China border clash was not allowed by the Chair, the 17 parties staged the walkout.
Speaking to the media outside the House, Congress MP Pramod Tiwari accused the government for 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 which cannot be compromised in terms of the border issue. National security is a major concern’. CPI (M) MP John Brittas said we don’t know why the government is not ready to hold a debate on the clash between Indian and Chinese troops on the LAC.
JDU said, ‘we asked for a discussion on Chinese aggression on LAC’ CPI said this is an insult to the House as the government is not ready to hold a discussion on the border clash. Congress MP Nasir Hussain said all these 17 parties held a discussion on the Chinese aggression earlier in the day in the House and we have decided to raise several public issues. ‘We had to walk out on the issue yesterday and today too on the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the LAC. In the next few days, we will keep raising some other issues of public interest’, Hussain said. The MPs demanded the suspension of ‘Zero Hour’ to have a discussion on the issue which needs immediate measures to combat such aggressions and protect India’s interests along the international border.
The clash near Yangtse along the LAC in the sensitive sector took place last Friday amid the over 30-month border standoff between the two sides in eastern Ladakh. ‘On December 9, PLA troops contacted the LAC in Tawang Sector which was contested by own (Indian) troops in a firm and resolute manner. This face-off led to minor injuries to few personnel from both sides’, the Indian Army said in a statement. ‘Both sides immediately disengaged from the area. As a follow up of the incident, own (Indian) commander in the area held a flag meeting with his counterpart to discuss the issue in accordance with structured mechanisms to restore peace and tranquillity’, it said.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday informed Parliament that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops tried to transgress the LAC in the Yangtse area of Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh and unilaterally change the status quo but they went back to their locations due to timely intervention of Indian military commanders. Giving statements in both House, the Defence Minister also assured that ‘our forces are committed to protecting our territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it’.