No discordant notes on Ladakh in RS

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/18/2020 11:31:12 PM

NEW DELHI, Sep 17: Unlike the Lok Sabha where members are not allowed to seek clarifications on a minister's statement, the Rajya Sabha rules permit them and yet there were no discordant notes after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's 23-minute statement on the situation on the border in Ladakh.
At least three leaders from the Congress -- Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, deputy leader Anand Sharma and former defence minister A K Anthony -- rose to seek clarifications but none asked the inconvenient question on why Prime Minister Modi stood on his June stand of no incursions by the Chinese in the Indian borders, a question that their party keeps asking on the public forums.
In fact, the Congress had staged a walk-out in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday for Speaker Om Birla not allowing its members to ask questions after Rajnath Singh's statement, showing the rule book. The party leaders made a lot of noise outside on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Prime Minister remaining in a denial mode on the incursions in Ladakh and even accused him of misleading the countrymen since in return his government got a loan of Rs 9292 crore from a China-based bank.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu defused the possibility of any discordant notes by advising the defence minister, immediately after his statement, that he better call the Opposition leaders in his chamber and take them into confidence on what he could not state, citing the constraints of the operational requirements and some sensitive information. After all they are "our people" who must be briefed, he stressed since anything said in the House can otherwise reach the enemy.
Azad spoke how the Congress has always stood by the Indian Army as it vouches for unity and integrity of the country and recalled his visits to Siachen and other border areas, once with then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, to interact with the soldiers and even once play football with them at the height of the Himalayas. Anand Sharma said the government must force the status quo ante as it existed in April and diplomatic channels should be exhausted. Anthony shared his concern over the reports that the Indian soldiers are not allowed patrolling on 8km close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The defence minister told Anthony that the fight is on the issue of patrolling on the Indian side on which talks are taking place, but assured the House that "no power in the world can stop us from patrolling our borders."
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut appreciated Rajnath Singh talking of he Indian tradition of patience but warned the government to be alert on China not having such a tradition but believed in treachery.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu talked of the Indian culture and tradition of never attacking any country. He said he was concerned over "the useless propaganda if differences in India" on the ongoing conflict with China" as he won't like such a message go out from the House. After all spoke, the defence minister said the solidarity with the Armed Forces expressed by all sides is "praise-worthy."
The defence minister assured the nation the government won't allow its head bow before anybody nor does it want any country to bow its head. He assured the people of India that the morale of the Jawans is high in dealing with the crisis with patience and courage. Ladakh development are a challenging time for the nation, he said.
He narrated how the Chinese have amassed troops and ammunitions on the border with Ladakh and built massive infrastructure for movement of its forces. He said India has also doubled the budget for the border infrastructure to secure the borders ensure the Indian Armed Forces are not handicapped in any manner.



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