Brief leaders on additional points of India-China conflict: Naidu to Rajnath

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday suggested defence minister Rajnath Singh call leaders of political parties to his office for a briefing on “additional points” about the “actual situation” of the India-China border conflict. He referred to propaganda that India is divided over the issue and added a message should go from the House that “we stand united with our soldiers”.

HT on Wednesday reported the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has hinted to some opposition leaders that a closed-door meeting on the India-China border situation may be considered. The government has been reluctant to have a full-fledged discussion on the issue during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

“I have a suggestion for the defence minister. If you agree, you may like to invite some leaders to your office to share additional information on the issue. Some officials can also come,” said Naidu after Singh read out his statement in Rajya Sabha on the issue. “They [political leaders] are all our own people. Everybody is interested in the country’s safety and security and they should also know the actual position.”

Naidu also lashed out at what he described as propaganda to show India is divided over the conflict. “As the chairman, I want to explain India’s culture is always of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam [the world is a family]. We have never attacked any country. This is a very sensitive issue. Our soldiers are at the frontier. Raksha Mantri [defence minister] has explained at length the situation. But there is propaganda running in international magazines that India is divided; it has major differences and all those useless comments.”

Opposition parties have criticised the government for shying away from a discussion on the issue in Parliament.

The defence ministry may brief floor leaders of different parties on efforts to normalise the situation along the border with China and reply to queries they may have on the subject.

“A senior minister called me to say that the government may think of a briefing for floor leaders of different parties on the India-China situation if they agree. But the proposal is at a very nascent stage and needs further discussion,” said a non-NDA leader, requesting anonymity.