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Defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to speak on the matter this week. HT
Defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to speak on the matter this week. HT

Oppn parties seek details from Centre on border standoff

Opposition parties demand a detailed statement and details of the steps taken by the Union government since April when the border problems with China first started

Opposition parties on Wednesday pressed the government to reveal details of the India-China standoff, and demanded that some crucial bills be cleared by parliamentary committees.

At a meeting between Rajya Sabha members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday, some Opposition leaders also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak on the India-China issue. However, defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to put across the government’s viewpoint this week.

“Opposition parties have demanded a detailed statement and details of the steps taken by the Union government since April when the border problems with China first started. We want to know what happened in Galwan, how many Indian soldiers were martyred, how many Chinese soldiers died in the clash and what are the steps taken by the government both diplomatically and otherwise to safeguard the interest of the country. Since PM Modi has said at the beginning of the that monsoon session that the stand-off is a sensitive issue and everyone should stand with the soldiers, we expect that PM Modi will speak on the issue in Parliament," said a regional party leader who attended the meeting.

Opposition parties also demanded sending four of the 11 bills slated to replace ordinances for further parliamentary scrutiny. Three of them relate to farm sector and one on amendments to banking regulation.

Among the ordinances that have created difference with Opposition are Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which got passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the BJP’s oldest allies, has publicly opposed the ordinances related to farmers, saying it would be difficult to support them since they do not benefit farmers.

“Before introducing these bills, they should at least have consulted the parties that are essentially farmers’ parties and their allies. Our minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, had expressed her reservations when the matter was taken up during a cabinet meeting," SAD chief Sukhbir Badal told PTI, adding his party is opposed to the bill and that the Centre must find ways to address concerns of farmers.

gyan.v@livemint.com

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