‘Centre has left everyone clueless on how it is going to deal with Chinese incursion issue’

The Union government’s style of handling the issue of Chinese incursion into Ladakh has pictured India as a weak nation, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said here on Sunday.

In an interaction with selected audience, Mr. Jaitley said although it was a serious issue concerning the nation’s security, the Centre had left everyone clueless on how it was going to deal with this issue and what policy it would follow in this regard. Moreover, it was highly condemnable that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed it a localised problem. Dr. Singh must take a serious note of the issue and take all political parties into confidence. The Bharatiya Janata Party would support any such move.

The BJP was acting responsibly on this issue. “But our patience is running out, so is the patience of people.” India should take a firm stand on such serious issues and the government must explore various instruments such as military, diplomatic, international pressure, the issue of Tibetan autonomy and such others to handle this issue.

Mr. Jaitley also expressed reservations over the Centre not taking the issue of the assault on death row convict Sarabjit Sigh in a Lahore Jail. Similarly, a small island nation like Maldives has started posing threat to India. Presence of Islamic groups and China in that country was a threat to India. India’s relations with her neighbours had never been so bad like it was in the last nine years.

The Kargil parallel

Comparing the Chinese incursion with the Kargil dispute during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, he said then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s handling of this issue not only created an atmosphere of patriotism in the entire country, but also isolated Pakistan at the international level. Not only each inch of land was retrieved, but every intruder was killed. “The Kargil war had sent out a strong message that India never tolerates anyone playing with its borders.”

To a query on the terrorist attack on Parliament during Mr. Vajpayee’s tenure, he said such things happened in a country having security issues and terrorist threat. But during the attack on Parliament, security forces safeguarded everyone and no terrorist could enter the Parliament building. Even after the incident, the government unearthed the conspiracy and the culprits were convicted. The government enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). But it was the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government which revoked the POTA.

‘Clarify stand’

Hubli Staff Correspondent writes:

Mr. Jaitley told reporters in Hubli that he would urge the Prime Minister to make the government’s stand clear on the Chinese incursion and Dr. Singh should convey the same thing to the people during his visit to Hubli on Monday for election campaign.

The BJP leader said the Centre was required to take a strong stand on the recent provocative actions by Pakistan, including that of the attack on Sarabjit.

The Prime Minister was saying that there was no need for the Law Minister to resign in the wake of the Central Bureau of Investigation Director’s affidavit in the Coalgate, he said.

He said that when it came to corruption charges against its own partymen, the BJP had the moral courage to take action against such leaders even it caused loss to the party politically. Regarding Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi campaigning only for a day in Karnataka while the rest of the central leaders dedicating more time for it, Mr. Jaitley said it was a matter of personal decision as Mr. Modi had several official responsibilities.

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