External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday strongly objected to the use of the term "pitai" (beating) by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while referring to the India-China clash in Tawang, and asserted that our soldiers have stood their ground in Yangtse in Arunachal Pradesh and should be "appreciated and honoured".
"The word 'pitai' (beating) should not be used for our jawans. Our jawans are standing their ground. They should be respected, they should be honoured, and they should be appreciated. This is not something that is appropriate," he said.
Raising a bunch of rhetorical questions on opposition's remarks on India-China border tensions, he asked why is India publicly saying that the relations between the two countries are not normal if we are indifferent towards China.
Jaishankar said, "If we were indifferent to China then who sent the Indian Army to the border. If we were indifferent to China then why are we pressurising China for de-escalation and disengagement today? Why are we saying publicly that our relations are not normal?"
Amid the continuing protests in the Rajya Sabha by the Opposition, leader of the House Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Opposition lacks decorum and doesn't believe in following rules. The Opposition has been demanding discussion on the India-China border clash.
"Opposition is behaving as an obstructionist and destructive," says Piyush Goyal
Meanwhile, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that the Opposition was behaving like an "obstructionist" who does not believe in the rules and regulations in the functioning of the Parliament.
Addressing a press conference here in the national capital, Piyush Goyal said: "Today in the Rajya Sabha, we witnessed the frustration and the complete absence of decorum from the Opposition parties. Their frustration reached at a level where they don't even believe in any rules and regulations in the functioning of Parliament." "They are even denying the rulings and observations of the Chair. Unfortunately, the Opposition is behaving as an obstructionist and destructive," Goyal said.
The Union Minister also said that the Opposition's recent walkout from the Rajya Sabha shows their "lack of faith" in the Army.
"It shows their complete lack of faith in the Army which is demoralizing the armed force. It is in the best interest of the country that the Opposition allows smooth functioning of Parliament in the sensitive matters of security and to uphold the democratic values," he said.
Respect the Army and jawans at border: Goyal
He further expressed his expectations from the Opposition, particularly Congress to respect the Army and jawans at the border. He said that the Defence minister has already made a detailed statement in Rajya Sabha, after which, we would have expected the Opposition, particularly Congress to respect our Army, jawans at the border, and their commitment towards the nation, but Rahul Gandhi continues to cast aspersions on the Army," Goyal said.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha on December 13, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian Army bravely stopped the Chinese PLA troops from encroaching on Indian territory, and forced them to withdraw to their posts. However, on Saturday, he said that whether it is Galwan or Tawang, India's defence forces have always shown courage and displayed their valour on every occasion.
Goyal's remarks came after the Joint Opposition comprising Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), the Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party (SP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena and the Kerala Congress staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha as their demand to hold a debate over the recent clashes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the Indian and Chinese forces at the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh was disallowed.
Walkout staged during the Zero Hour session in Upper House
The opposition sought to raise the issue with Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mallikarjun Kharge saying nothing is bigger than the nation and sought a detailed debate on December 9 clashes along the LAC between the neighboring countries.
"They (China) are encroaching on our land. If we don't discuss this issue then what else should we discuss? We are ready for discussion on this issue in the House," said the LoP in Rajya Sabha.
Kharge said the Rajya Sabha Chairman has residuary powers on rules for admitting adjournment notices submitted by several MPs to hold discussions on the India-China border situation issue.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, however, asked the opposition MPs to not convert it into a classroom and rejected the demand of the Opposition.
Dhankar said he can't give attention to notices that fail to follow rules, and reprimanded MPs of Rajya Sabha for "more than 100 minutes of disruptions" of proceedings in the House.
(with inputs from Agencies)
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