LAC Standoff: Opposition to test Modi govt’s muscular nationalism


Video grab of Tawang clash

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, December 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a meeting of the Union Cabinet, as the Opposition rushed to raise the issue of the skirmish of the Indian Army with the People’s Liberation Army of China in the Tawang sector. Lok Sabha plunged into a pandemonium, as Opposition MPs pressed for adjournment motions to immediately discuss the issue of the skirmish across the line of actual control.

Congress had made it clear within hours of the newsbreak of the skirmish that it would mount serious attack on the Modi government over the LAC issue with China. Congress MP Manish Tewari submitted his adjournment motion, seeking immediate discussion on the skirmish, while mentioning in the notice that “China has vehemently refused to vacate the areas which it reportedly occupied after the major clash on May 5, 2020 (Galwan Valley)”.

Union Minister for Defence will make a statement in both the Houses of Parliament, and the government will not yield to the demands of discussion on the issue. Sources said that the government would stick to the arguments that discussions don’t take place on statements made by ministers, and the ruling dispensation may also take recourse to the arguments that the issue is a sensitive matter. However, Congress, Trinamool Congress and other Opposition parties are not likely to let government come out unscathed. Congress is already sharing the video of Modi wherein he’s heard saying that China is not occupying any part of land of India.

While Modi built an image of muscular nationalism, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to adjust to the LAC standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. Now China is opening a new front of confrontation in Tawang to test the patience of India. While the military sources have been attributed by multiple media reports claiming that such skirmishes keep taking place because of the difference in perception of the line of actual control, Opposition parties appear in no mood to buy the official versions.

The government has in fact not much to answer since there has been no progress in eastern Ladakh despite 16 rounds of talks between the military commanders, while new areas of skirmishes keep coming up. The security strategists have been urging upon the government to punish China on the economic front, but the bilateral trade has only risen to the record level, with trade heavily being in favour of Beijing.

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