Government caught napping on China border situation: Congress

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New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The Congress on Monday said the Narendra Modi government has been “caught napping” on the situation on border with China.

The opposition party said there had been a large number of incursions and the ruling alliance had lurched from having “a reluctant defence minister” to a “part-time defence minister”.

Talking to media persons here, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that national security was going through turbulent times in different facets with respect to China border.

Singhvi said China was blaming India “day in and day out” and was adopting one of the most aggressive postures even as it had not cared for India’s concerns about Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Masood Azhar and membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the United Nations Security Council.

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“We all know that perhaps in the last 55 years, such a serious stand-off has not occurred and I am not talking merely of destruction of a bunker here or bunker there but this very serious eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation,” Singhvi said.

The Congress leader’s remarks came in the wake of the Indian and Chinese troops’ face-off at Doklam or Donglong, a disputed territory between China and Bhutan.

He said the incident had been preceded by a sharp increase in the number of Chinese incursions and violations.

“I am startled to find this figure which is on the official website that in the last 45 days alone, 120 Chinese incursions (have taken place) and if you take 2017, these incursions have been 240, which is much more than one per day,” he said.

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“Unfortunately, it appears this government has been caught napping and has not been able to implement significant accords of recent origin,” he added.

He said there had been violation of the India-China Border Agreement 2005 and the Border Defence Co-operation Agreement of 2013.

“This base existed and, therefore, not only a violation of these has happened by the repeated transgressions but violation near the most sensitive part which is the area known as ‘Chicken’s Neck’.”

Singhvi said apart from transgressions and destruction of bunkers, there has been a complete stoppage of the “Mansarovar Yatra” from one entry point.

He said China had violated Indian air space in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand on June 4 and in another violation earlier in the state, Chinese helicopters came more than four-and-half km into the Indian territory.

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He said his party was very alarmed and concerned about the situation and added that nothing was more important than national security.

Referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also holding the charge of Defence, Singhvi said it is just not possible for “part-time ministers” to deal with such issues.

“Unfortunately, the nation has lurched from a ‘reluctant Raksha Mantri’ to ‘Part Time Raksha Mantri’ and the vice-versa,” Singhvi said.

He also asked the government about progress on raising Mountain Strike Corps and alleged that it had been “kept in deep freeze”.



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