BJP spares govt over Chinese incursion

At a time when the Bharatiya Janata Party is exploiting every opportunity to attack Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leading Opposition party was considerate not to corner the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on the reported Chinese incursion in Ladakh in both Houses during the just-concluded budget session of Parliament. The party, however, had held protests outside Parliament.

The BJP and the government were not out of tune on the face off with Chinese troops in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector of Ladakh, as they believed it was a localised problem and not an invasion to alter the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for their benefit. This impression, said party sources, was gathered after the government reached out to the Opposition for seeking political support during the Parliament session fearing that media frenzy could build up public opinion against the UPA, which it could ill afford. 

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon had met Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to brief her on the Sino-Indian border skirmish. The incursion was first noted on April 15 by the paramilitary force ITBP, deployed to man the LAC in Ladakh. It is learnt that Menon had apprised Sushma that the Chinese troops coming into this side of the LAC was a localised affair as forces from both sides would keep on marching into each other’s territory but subsequently go back.

Sushma told Deccan Herald that Menon had met her on the Chinese incursion issues. “I did not give him any assurance. What I told him was that whatever you are telling me, you should convey it to other political parties as well,” she said.

On May 3, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid briefed Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on the government’s strategy to counter the incursion.
Throughout the session, the BJP did not force the government to have a discussion on security implications of the Sino-Indian border breach in Ladakh.

The BJP, on the other hand, did not allow Parliament to function demanding the resignation of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar for unauthorisedly and illegally changing the CBI’s draft report on the coal allocation controversy and Railway Minister Pawan Bansal for his relative accepting a bribe for a top posting in the Railway Board. Both the ministers were later forced to quit.

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