Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the centre’s response today as it preps for the Opposition’s offensive over the India-China border clash in Arunachal Pradesh last week.
The country’s military and diplomatic leadership will meet today to discuss the next step after the December 9 border clash emerged as the latest flashpoint in the strained ties between New Delhi and Beijing.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be meeting the three service chiefs — Army Chief General Manoj Pande, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari today.
Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan (retired), will also attend the meeting. Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra and Giridhar Aramane will also be present.
Soon after, the Defence Minister will meet the Prime Minister and other senior cabinet colleagues to fine-tune the political response to the Opposition’s offensive on the issue. Mr Singh is scheduled to address both Houses of Parliament this afternoon. This comes after several MPs from Opposition parties sought a discussion on the border clash.
The December 9 face-off led to “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides” and the two sides “immediately disengaged from the area”, an Army statement said yesterday.
Soon after the news spread, the Congress hit out at the centre, saying that the government needs to take the nation into confidence by discussing the issue in Parliament. The Trinamool Congress has submitted a notice in Rajya Sabha, seeking a discussion on the issue.
Government sources have said the centre has “never dithered from any discussion and is prepared with facts”.
Among the Opposition MPs who have sought a discussion on the issue are Congress’s Manish Tewari and Syed Nasir Hussain, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Asaduddin Owaisi.