Block China: Mamata

New Delhi

Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked PM Modi to prevent entry of China into telecom, railways and aviation in the light of its aggression on the Indian territory of Ladakh and inhuman killing of 20 Indian Army personnel.

Leaders of 20 political parties participated in the all-party meeting video-conferenced by the PM to discuss the most violent clashes in decades between the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army) in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley Monday night. Several small parties like AAP, RJD and AIMIM were not invited in the meeting that lasted two and a half hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar briefed the parties on the developments in Galwan Valley and the current situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Stressing that China is not a democracy but a dictatorship, Mamata said they can do what they feel. “We on the other hand, have to work together. Speak with unity. Work with unity. We are solidly with the government,” she said.

NCP chief and former Defence Minister Sharad Pawar took the lead in referring to the soldiers were unarmed, pointing out that if they carry arms or not are decided by the international agreements and such sensitive matters should be respected instead of raising questions when the need is for the entire country united.

JD(U) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said all parties should stand together, not showing any disunity that can be explored by the enemies. He said China's stand on India is known and referred to what it did in 1962. On Chinese products flooding the Indian markets, he said it has multiple dimensions of problems, including electronic waste, and the Chinese products never last long as they are supplying to India inferior items unlike the supplies to the countries like the United States.

BJD chief and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik did not participate but sent his party's senior MP Pinaki Misra urged all parties not to indulge in a blamegame as it is the time for the entire country to talk in one voice. The government will have to take strong action and his party would fully support the government, he said.

The meeting, also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, started after paying tributes to the Galwan martyrs. The JD(S) was not invited, but its president and former PM HD Deve Gowda issued a statement on Friday for toning down “nationalist rhetoric” and cautioned the government against encouraging calls for economic boycott of the Chinese products.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi has written to PM Modi, saying, “it is disappointing my party was not invited to the “All-Party Meeting” on the China border issue which was to be chaired by you.” RJD led by its leader Manoj Jha staged a protest near Gandhi statue in the Parliament House for not getting invite for the meeting.

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