Oppn corners govt on China stand-off


The parties from the Congress to the CPM to the Trinamool Congress sought to know “why such incidents are witnessed now”, while NDA ally, the Shiv Sena, questioned the Narendra Modi government for not being aggressing in dealing with China.

During the three-hour meeting attended by Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Home Secretary-designate Rajiv Gauba gave presentations on the China stand-off and Kashmir issues, respectively. AIADMK leader A Navaneethakrishnan said the foreign secretary admitted that China has encroached the Doklam territory of Bhutan.

However, a source said that former defence minister and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav cautioned the government on trusting China. Mulayam and Sharad Pawar, who was also a defence minister, will meet Jaitley soon to share their experiences.

Referring to China, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said national interest was paramount, but the government needs to engage China in negotiations. 

The government, for its part, said they are for negotiations and using diplomatic channels to resolve the issue. However, Yechury suggested that New Delhi was “irritating” China through its recent moves to “appease” the US. 

There were questions on the conversations between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, but a senior Opposition leader said there were “no convincing answers”. “There were no answers,” Yechury told DH after the meeting.

On the Amarnath attack, a source said Yechury asked why no action was taken despite intelligence inputs. He also said it was very unusual that nobody took responsibility for the attack as “usually terrorists want to claim credit to further their plans”. “We are not satisfied with their explanations on Amarnath,” TMC MP Derek O’Brien said. 

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