Rajnath Singh likely to address India-China row in Parliament tomorrow
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will likely address the ongoing India-China border row in the Parliament on Tuesday, according to reports. The timing of the statement has not been confirmed. The government has been facing criticism over the border row along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, during which, 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in June. Here are more details.
Singh to issue suo motu statement in Parliament tomorrow
Singh will likely issue a suo motu statement in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday—the first statement from the central government on the issue—India Today reported. Earlier on Monday, as the Parliament reconvened for the Monsoon Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, "Our brave soldiers are guarding the borders amid adverse weather in the mountains. All MPs are united in supporting our soldiers."
Border tensions remain heightened since early-May clash
Tensions along the LAC intensified after clashes between the two forces at various locations in early-May. Since then, both sides have been engaged in diplomatic and military-level talks. However, even as the talks continued, a violent clash erupted in the Galwan Valley on June 15, which led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army soldiers. China has not confirmed the official number of casualties.
Indian and Chinese forces faced off recently near Pangong Tso
Further, earlier this month, Indian and Chinese forces had faced off again near the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh. The latest escalation witnessed firing of shots, a first in about 45 years along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Last week, Indian and Chinese Foreign Ministers had held meeting
Last week, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar had held a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi where the two leaders had agreed to a five-point plan to disengage and de-escalate at the LAC. Earlier this month, Singh had also asked China to restore the status quo at the friction points along the LAC in a meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe.
China monitoring prominent Indians, including PM, President: Report
Even as both sides are trying to arrive at a peaceful resolution through talks, the ground situation at the border remains tense. On Monday, a report in The Indian Express stated that a Shenzhen-based firm with links to the Chinese government is monitoring several prominent Indians including President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, among others.
Congress party has repeatedly criticized government
Notably, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other members of the party have repeatedly criticized the government over the border row. Critics say the Indian government has simply been banning Chinese applications. Separately, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala and the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi, have sought the Centre's response over the report in The Indian Express.