Antony seeks clarification from Defence minister Rajnath Singh over Indo-China disengagement in Parliament

Congress leader AK Antony raised questions over Modi government’s version of disengagement with China in Ladakh and wanted clarifications from the sitting defence minister
AK Antony

Senior Congress leader and former Union Defence Minister AK Antony raised questions over Modi government’s version of disengagement with China in Ladakh and wanted clarifications from the sitting Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh in Parliament but the government did not allow, NH has learnt.

After Rajnath Singh’s address on Thursday in Parliament in which he announced that both India and China, after ending almost a year long standoff, have agreed on phase wise withdrawal of forces from Ladakh, Antony tried to intervene and submitted his objections in writing, but the government did not pay any heed.

Talking to NH, Antony said that he wanted a clarification from the defence minister and gave in writing also but the speaker did not allow. “I wanted clarification from the defence minister…raised the issue several times but they did not allow it,” Antony told NH.

Another parliamentarian conceded that the Congress party had sought clarifications from the defence minister in the parliament, but the “Modi govt avoided it as they did not want people of India to get into details”.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also on Friday said that his party was not allowed to raise the issue.

“Intervene karne nahi diya (we were not allowed to intervene). We were not allowed to raise it in Lok Sabha…and I am sure we will not be allowed to have a debate on it,” said Rahul addressing the media, when asked if his party had not raised the issue in the Parliament.

Pertinently, Rahul Gandhi has blamed the Modi government for ceding India’s land to China. Calling Modi a coward who could not stand up to China, Rahul said, “Why has Prime Minister Modi given up Indian territory to the Chinese? This is the question that needs to be answered by him and the Defence Minister”.

“It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister to protect the territory of this country. The Prime Minister has ceded Indian territory to the Chinese. It’s his responsibility to solve it. How he does it, is his problem, not mine.” Rahul had said.

“We have agreed that both sides should achieve complete disengagement at the earliest and abide fully by the bilateral agreements and protocols. By now, the Chinese side is also fully aware of our resolve. It is therefore our expectation that the Chinese side will work with us in full sincerity to resolve these remaining issues.” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said in the Parliament.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday told both the Houses that “it has also been agreed to convene the next meeting of the Senior Commanders within 48 hours after the complete disengagement in the Pangong Lake area so as to address and resolve all other remaining issues.”

“The Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to the east of Finger 8. Reciprocally, the Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3. A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides. These are mutual and reciprocal steps and any structures that had been built by both sides since April 2020 in both North and South Bank area will be removed and the landforms will be restored,” Rajnath Singh had said.

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