New Delhi: “India wants peace and friendship, but upholding sovereignty is foremost”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an all-party meeting on Friday, called to discuss the ongoing India-China border face-off. PM Modi said that the Indian government has given armed forces full freedom for taking any appropriate action necessary. Furthermore, he assured that Indian security forces are fully capable of protecting the country’s borders. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: ‘US Military to Stand With India,’ Indicates White House
The meeting saw leaders of major political parties putting across their views on the sensitive issue. The virtual meeting began with participants paying tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the violent face-off with Chinese troops in East Ladakh earlier this week. The government had invited presidents of major political parties for the meet. Also Read - Ladakh Standoff: India, China Disengage in Galwan; Here's How NSA Ajit Doval Managed Breakthrough | Top Developments
BJP chief J P Nadda, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao, JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, DMK’s M K Stalin, YSR Congress Party’s YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray were among those who attended the meeting. Also Read - 'China Caused Great Damage to US': Trump Sharpens Attack on Beijing Again Over COVID-19
Take a look at what political leaders told PM Modi at the meeting:
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said,”All party meeting should have happened much earlier. Even at this late stage we are in the dark. Congress has specific questions.” She asked “What date did Chinese troops intrude? When did the Govt find out about the transgressions? Does govt not get satellite pics?Did intelligence not report about unusual activity?”
She added,”Nation needs assurance that status quo ante restored. What is the current status of Mountain strike corps? Opposition parties should be briefed regularly.”
TMC leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee stated,”All-party meeting is a good message for the nation. Shows that we are united behind our Jawans. TMC strongly in solidarity with the government. Don’t let China enter telecom, railway and aviation sectors. We will face some problems but we won’t allow the Chinese to enter.”
She asserted,”China is not a democracy. They are a dictatorship.They can do what they feel. We,on the other hand,have to work together. India will win, China will lose. Speak with unity. Think with unity. Work with unity. We are solidly with the Govt.”
Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray lambasted China at the meeting, saying that India wants peace but that doesn’t mean we are weak. “China’s nature is betrayal. India is ‘Mazboot’ not ‘Majboor’. Our government has the ability to – ‘Aankhen Nikalkar Haath Me de dena. We are all one. This is the feeling. We are with you, PM. We are with our forces and their families”, he added further.
Echoing similar remarks, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav said that Nation is one. “Neeyat (intention) of Pakistan and China is not good. India will not be China’s dumping ground. Impose 300% duty on Chinese goods”, he stated.
CPI’s D Raja said, “We need to resist US efforts to drag us into their alliance” and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechuri stressed on the principles of Panchsheel.”
NPP’s Conrad Sangma asserted,”Infrastructure work along the border should not stop. China sponsored activities in Myanmar&Bangladesh is worrying. PM has been working on North East infra and it must go on.”
BJD’s Pinaki Misra said that China has repeated history, once again in the cover of darkness in a cowardly move, they attacked our soldiers who went with a message of peace. “We stand with the Government fully and unconditionally”, he added.
Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal said that it is not the right time to question the handling of the situation. “India is with the PM. Let’s give the message to China that we are with the PM”, Badal told other parties.
Andhra Pradesh CM and YSRCP’s Jagan Mohan Reddy thanked PM Modi at the meeting and claimed that India’s reputation has risen globally because of the Prime Minister. “He (Modi) has built key strategic partnerships across the world. You are our strength, Prime Minister. India has gained envy of many. They (China) are trying to destabilise India”, Reddy said.