PM Chairs All-party Meet On Indo-China Border Situation, Sonia Questions Intelligence Failure

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PTI | Updated :June 19, 2020,19:42 IST

An all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the situation along the India-China border on Friday saw leaders of major political parties putting across their views on the sensitive issue.

The virtual meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi began with participants paying tributes to the slain soldiers.

Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were seen standing in silence as a mark of respect for the fallen army men. Singh and Jaishankar spoke on the stand-off at the meeting.

Twenty Indian Army soldiers were killed in a violent clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh's Galwan Valley between June 15 and 16. The Indian army said 18 soldiers were recovering at a hospital in Leh and 58 were in other hospitals. All are expected to rejoin duty in 7-14 days, it added.

Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at the meeting, "All-party meeting is a good message for the nation. Shows that we are united behind our Jawans. TMC strongly in solidarity with the government," a news agency reported citing sources.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said, "Country wants assurance from govt that status quo ante will be restored along LAC and China will revert to original position."

Was there a failure of intelligence? Gandhi asked the PM, as reported by a news agency.

"We failed to use all avenues of talks to ease LAC tension, lost valuable time, and the result was loss of 20 lives," she said, the report said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao, JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, DMK’s M K Stalin, YSR Congress Party’s YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray were among those who attended the meeting.

The government had invited presidents of major political parties for the meet.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, have been asking the government to be transparent about the situation on the border and slammed its handling of the issue.

Modi has asserted that the sacrifice of Indian soldiers will not go in vain. Defence Minister Singh had said that Indian soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

 

Source: English sakshi