New Delhi: On Saturday, the government issued a clarification over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Friday’s all-party meet over the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in eastern Ladakh. Also Read - 'Attempts Being Made to Give Mischievous Spin to PM's Speech': Centre in Statement on All-Party Meet
The clarification came after a specific phrase used by PM Modi-‘no intrusion took place/‘there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC’-triggered major controversy as it ‘vindicated’ Beijing’s stand that it was, in fact, Indian troops who crossed over to the Chinese territory, thus triggering a response by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The remark was also in contrast to the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) own claims that the Chinese ‘ought to erect a structure’ on India’s side of LAC. Also Read - 'You've Surrendered Indian Territory to China': Rahul Gandhi Tells PM Modi
As expected, Beijing used this confusion to its advantage, once again laying claim to the Galwan Valley, where the fatal clash took place Monday night. This prompted a clarification from Delhi which remarked that there was an attempt to give a ‘mischievous interpretation’ of the Prime Minister’s remark, stating that what he meant was a situation as a consequence of the brave 16 Bihar regiment which repelled the attempted instrusion. Also Read - India-China Border Fight: 'Aankhen Nikalkar Haath Me de Dena', What Political Leaders Told PM Modi at All-Party Meet | Read Here
As the controversy refused to die down, here’s how several Chief Ministers, who attended the meeting as presidents of their respective parties, reacted to this ‘manufactured controversy’:
Andhra Pradesh CM and YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy: Concerned by the manufactured controversy surrounding the All Party Meet yesterday. This is the time to showcase our unity and solidarity with our armed forces and not the time to point fingers or find faults. Hon’ble PM and other Ministers gave very convincing answers at the APM. Nation is and should be united on this subject. Unity brings strength and division exhibits weakness.
Telangana CM and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao: We may have our differences in politics but are united in our patriotism. PM spoke on our behalf when he paid tribute to armed forces and assured India’s interests will always be protected. We’re very happy with the all-party meeting.
Meghalaya CM and NPP chief Conrad Sangma: During yesterday’s all-party meeting, PM Narendra Modi spoke extensively on the India-China situation. His answers clearly reflected India’s strong stand when it comes to safeguarding our sovereignty. All other ‘commentary’ may be best ignored. It’s not factual or desired.
Sikkim CM and SKM chief Prem Singh Tamang: PM Narendra Modi’s remarks in the all-party meeting were crystal clear in reaffirming India’s stand on the China issue. It was reassuring to hear that the government won’t compromise on India’s interests.
A total of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel, were martyred and 76 injured in the clash. The Chinese, however, are yet to make their casualty figures public.