Oppn bids to confront govt over China come up against House hurdles

The Opposition is trying to corner the government on the issue of Chinese transgressions at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Throughout the week, it tried to raise the issue in both Houses of Parliament but was not allowed by the chair.

Even, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the government, saying that China is “preparing for war against India and the government is keeping quiet on the issue”.

In Lok Sabha, Congress MP Manish Tewari moved four adjournment notices in a row but none were allowed. Similarly, the Rajya Sabha has been witnessing heated exchanges on a regular basis but there is no discussion on the issue.

Tewari moved the fourth notice on Friday. The notice says: “We have had the Hon’ble Defence Minister give a statement. However, there are crucial questions that need to be asked: Why are these clashes happening, first Galwan and now Yangtse? What do the Chinese want? Is the Government aware of Chinese mal-intentions? Have we lost any territory to the Chinese as a result of these aggressions, if so, how much and how does the Government plan to get it back?”

The notice emphasises that a detailed discussion was required on the grave situation at the border with China in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Congress says, “It is the first physical clash between the two armies since August 2020 which took place at Rinchen La in eastern Ladakh… Bilateral trade with China is at an all-time high. Between 2020 to the present, imports from China have nearly doubled from $27.3 billion to $52.4 billion.”

The party has pointed out that the Chinese are attempting to come inside the Indian territory is a “portentous sign”. From eastern Ladakh, the Chinese seem to be “eyeing Arunachal and the 2,500-km Eastern Sector of the LAC”.

Reports suggest that China has built massive infrastructure and there is additional troop buildup on the LAC. At least three additional PLA brigades are reportedly deployed at the LAC.

“These clashes are in addition to what has been happening in Eastern Ladakh where, despite multiple rounds of talks, sixteen in total, China has vehemently refused to vacate areas it reportedly occupied after the major clash on May 5, 2020,” adds the notice moved by Tewari.

“The crises in areas such as Depsang and Demchok remain unresolved. Locals who hitherto travelled to the Charding La-Nilung Nalla Junction have been denied access by the Chinese. Grazers have also been blocked from accessing the area.

“China has, in the meantime, reportedly built substantial military infrastructure all across the Line of Actual Control. China is unwilling to restore the status quo in Ladakh, a situation that puts India at a massive disadvantage. This House has spent no time discussing this crucial issue,” it asserts.

It urges the government to take up the matter with “utmost seriousness” and have a detailed discussion in Parliament with regard to the border situation with China.

The Rajya Sabha too is witnessing heated exchanges between the Opposition and the treasury benches over the demand for a discussion on Chinese transgressions at the LAC, but the suspension of business notice is not being allowed.

The Leader of Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge, has said: “The Chair should allow opposition’s notices on the issue as this is an important issue and all the members want a discussion.”

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