Congress slams BJP-led Govt of being soft on China

Singh said that the soldiers of both China and India sometimes crossed over to territories claimed by each other because the two sides had differing perceptions about Line of Actual Control, which served as the de facto boundary between the two neighbouring nations in the absences of a settled boundary. Photo/PTI

The Opposition Congress on Wednesday accused the government led by Bharatiya Janata Party of going soft on China, prompting Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to reassure the Lok Sabha that the armed forces were fully alert to secure the border and prepared to counter any threat to India.

Singh said that the soldiers of both China and India sometimes crossed over to territories claimed by each other because the two sides had differing perceptions about Line of Actual Control, which served as the de facto boundary between the two neighbouring nations in the absences of a settled boundary.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, raised the issue of Chinese People's Liberation Army's incursions across the Line of Control into the territories claimed by India, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. He alleged that China had all along been standing by Pakistan, which had been providing refuge to terrorists targeting India. “Pakistan shelters terrorists and China shelters Pakistan,” said Chowdhury. He noted that China had started sending ships near Andaman and Nicobar Island posing a security threat to India.

The Congress MP from West Bengal said that the Government strongly responded to Pakistan's activities against India, it had been going soft on China. He reminded the Lok Sabha that the BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Tapir Gao, too had expressed his concern in the House a few days back over China's move to encroach upon the territory of India.

“I would like to assure the House that our armed forces are vigilant and they are protecting our borders. Our armed forces are fully capable of responding to any challenge. No one should have a doubt about it,” Defence Minister said, responding to the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha.

He said that India and China had several mechanisms in place to deal with inadvertent transgressions by the soldiers of the two nations deployed along the Line of Actual Control. “Whenever a situation of confrontation comes between forces of both...they handle it maturely,” said Defence Minister.

The House witnessed a brief exchange of barbs between the Opposition and Treasury Benches. Chowdhury and other opposition MPs interrupted Singh. "When our Prime Minister and President go to Arunachal Pradesh, China protests. Why cannot we also do the same and respond to China?" wondered the Chowdhury.   

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