External Affairs Minister S Jai Shankar’s row with the Congress and Rahul Gandhi over the incursion of Chinese troops into the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh came up in the Lok Sabha yesterday. Rahul claimed that the Chinese army had beaten Indian soldiers. Narendra Modi government is trying to hide it.
Since then, the BJP and the central leadership are seen to retaliate. External Affairs Minister S Jai Shankar gave a strong reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has already made a statement in Parliament about the Tawang incident. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar responded to the questions raised by the opposition on Monday. In his words, “We have no right to insult jawans directly or indirectly. They are guarding our border at 13 thousand feet. “We have no problem with political criticism, but soldiers should not be disrespected,” said the foreign minister. I can only nod when someone advises me. But we should not use the word ‘beating’ for jawans.”
Rahul also targeted the External Affairs Minister by raising tone against the Center regarding Tawang. His complaint was, “Foreign Minister only makes statements, he needs to go deeper and understand.”
Stance of the opposition
The opposition remained adamant in Parliament yesterday, demanding a discussion on the intrusion of Chinese troops into Arunachal’s Tawang sector. Yesterday too, the opposition in the Rajya Sabha demanded a discussion on the intrusion issue and a statement from the Prime Minister. Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar had to adjourn the session of the Rajya Sabha from time to time due to the loud ruckus of the opposition.
Congress MP Manish Tiwari submitted a motion in the Lok Sabha yesterday demanding a discussion on China. But Speaker Om Birla dismissed it. Opposition leaders were much more aggressive in the Rajya Sabha than in the Lok Sabha on this day. Congress members Pramod Tiwari, Ranjita Ranjan and others proposed to discuss this in the Rajya Sabha as well. Rajya Sabha Chairman Dhankhar rejected that proposal.
Criticizing the decision, Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, was heard saying, “China is encroaching on our land. If we don’t discuss it now, when will we?” However, Dhankhar did not want to accept Kharge’s argument. On the contrary, he commented that 100 minutes of the Parliament was wasted due to the noise of the opposition. Congress MPs went on a walkout protesting Dhankhar’s comments. Trinamool parliamentarians also walked out as the ruling camp did not meet the demands of talks.
On the other hand, the government has informed yesterday in a domestic manner, what Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has asked to say in this regard. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur hit back, saying, “Rahul Gandhi, open up about the donation Congress received from the Chinese embassy to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.” In response, Congress leader Pawan Khera said, “The money received by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is on public record. The organization to which the foreign minister’s son belongs has also received donations from the Chinese embassy thrice. We have not raised any complaint about it.”