NEW DELHI: Seeking answers from the government on the India-China faceoff, opposition leaders told the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the all-party meeting on Friday that the Chinese troops must be evacuated from occupying the high ground in Galwan Valley.
They asked if there was an intelligence failure that led to the clash. Some leaders suggested imposing heavy duty on Chinese goods and taking trade and investment measures to counter China.
Alleging that India failed to use all avenues, which resulted in the loss of 20 lives, Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked questions about when Chinese troops intruded into the Indian territory and whether the intelligence agencies faile to report any unusual activity there.
“In fact, even at this late stage, we are still in the dark about many crucial aspects of the crisis. We in the Congress party believe that valuable time was lost between May 5 and June 6, the date on which the Corps Commanders meeting took place. Even after the June 6 meeting, efforts should have been made to talk directly, at the political and diplomatic levels, to the leadership of China,” she said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said in the last three decades, China has quietly strengthened its position on the nearly 4,000-km LAC and has particularly focused on enlarging and strengthening its presence in Eastern Ladakh.
“If we want the PLA to evacuate from Galwan, compulsory measures are required. It would be advisable to strategise using diplomatic channels to diffuse tension on the border and make China see reason,” he said.
Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav and Bahujan Samaj party chief Mayawati demanded imposing heavy taxes on Chinese goods so that India does not become a dumping ground for these products.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Chinese companies should not be allowed to enter crucial sectors like telecom, railway and aviation in India.
However, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda called for toning down the nationalist rhetoric and cautioned the government against encouraging calls for boycott of Chinese products.
Backing the government, the BJD and the Shiv Sena said the Centre must take some action. India wants peace, but that does not mean that the country is weak, they asserted.
Suggesting the Centre to initiate high-level talks, the CPM said steps be taken, including clear demarcation of the LAC, to maintain peace and tranquility on the border.
“After Kargil, the Vajpayee government had appointed the K. Subrahmanyam Committee to examine lapses and suggest measures to modernise the armed forces. The government must think similarly. India gave the world Panchsheel and pursued an independent foreign policy. This must be strictly adhered to,” said party general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Fighter jets moved to Leh, Srinagar air bases
Air Chief RKS Bhadauria travelled to Leh on Wednesday after the Defence Minister reviewed the security scenario with him, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and the other two service chiefs.
The IAF has moved Su-30MKI, Jaguar and Mirage jets and Apache helicopters to key air bases including Leh and Srinagar in last three days.