PM Modi to hold all-party meeting on Ladakh face-off today; Mamata to attend, AAP claims not invited
Twenty Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in a standoff with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on Monday night.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting on the India-China border face-off on Friday. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the Monday night brawl and 19 others have been injured.
“In order to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas, Prime Minister @narendramodi has called for an all-party meeting at 5 PM on 19th June. Presidents of various political parties would take part in this virtual meeting,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had tweeted on Wednesday.
News agency ANI reported that 20 parties will attend the virtual meeting in which home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president JP Nadda will also be present. The defence minister had personally called and invited all leaders on behalf of PM Modi on Thursday, ANI further reported.
Indian Army officials claimed 43 Chinese were killed or seriously injured in the incident on June 15.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday that the country has taken the incident in Galwan Valley very seriously.
“We all pay tributes to the martyred Army officers and soldiers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made clear India’s view over what was done by the neighbouring country China,” the PIB release quoted him as saying.
“India has taken this incident very seriously,” the senior BJP leader said. PM Modi had said ahead of a meeting with the chief ministers on the Covid-19 situation that India is a peace-loving country but can give befitting reply if provoked.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will attend today’s meeting, news agency PTI quoted sources in the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Banerjee, the TMC chief, had on Wednesday said the Centre’s move to call the all-party meeting to discuss the situation was a right decision.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh, meanwhile, claimed that they have not been invited to Friday’s meeting. “A strange ego-ridden government is running at the Centre. The Aam Aadmi Party has a government in Delhi. It is the main Opposition party in Punjab. There are four MPs all over the country, but still the BJP does not want AAP’s opinion on such an important matter. What will the prime minister say in the meeting, the whole country is waiting for it,” Singh tweeted in Hindi on Thursday.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has also said that it has not been invited to today’s meeting. Rashtriya Janta Dal MP Manoj Kumar Jha on Friday said it was unfortunate.
“This is very sad and unfortunate that we are not invited. We are the single largest party in Bihar including five Rajya Sabha MPs, eight MLC and 80 MLAs. The party is present in 21 states. I do not know what criteria they have fixed. Bihar regiment has lost five soldiers. We have many things to ask and suggest to the Prime Minister,” the RJD leader said.
The Congress, meanwhile, has been attacking the government over the incident in Ladakh. Former Congress presidenthad earlier questioned whether the Indian soldiers were sent to the site of the clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley “unarmed”. Foreign minister S Jaishankar had hit back, saying the soldiers were carrying arms but did not open fire following protocols.
Twenty Indian Army personnel, including a colonel, were killed in a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two neighbours.