The Opposition on Wednesday was up in arms in the Lok Sabha after External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India and China had differing perceptions on the exact contours of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Mr. Khurshid was responding to a query by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Lalji Tandon, during Question Hour, whether there had been any incident of infiltration by the Chinese Army in the past three years. Mr. Tandon told Speaker Meira Kumar that Mr. Khurshid had not answered his question in his written reply.

Mr. Khurshid had said: “There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control in the border areas between India and China. There is no clear agreement on it between us. Our understanding of where the border is differs from theirs.”

An agitated Opposition alleged that the government was bowing to China and was unable to man the India-China border or install watch-towers there. The BJP was supported by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Dara Singh Chauhan.

Members demanded a discussion on the issue under Rule 193 (debate without voting). In his written reply, Mr. Khurshid said situations had arisen on the ground from time to time that could have been avoided if the two nations had had a common perception of the LAC.

Mr. Khurshid said India regularly took up instances of transgression along the LAC with the Chinese side through established mechanisms, including border personnel meetings, flag meetings, meetings of Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs and other diplomatic channels.

“The two sides have reiterated, on many occasions, their commitment to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the India-China border areas, pending a final settlement of the boundary question. The government keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it,” the Minister said.

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