A day after the government made a statement in Parliament on Indian Army managing to push back intruding Chinese troops at Yangste area in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, about 17 opposition parties came together to stage a walk out from Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to protest against refusal to have a discussion on the Friday’s Tawang border skirmish.

This is the second consecutive day of opposition, led by Congress, walking out. Leader of Opposition from Congress in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, along with other non-NDA leaders raised the demand for a detailed discussion on the clash when the House assembled for the day. Deputy Chairman Harivansh denied opposition request on the ground that he did not get any notice for the debate and instead allowed regular proceedings of ‘Zero Hour’ so that MPs could raise their own constituency issues.

Opposition MPs from Congress, Left, TMC, NCP, RJD, SP, JMM, and Shiv Sena shouted slogans in the House for some time before staging a walkout, taking a plea that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on Tuesday did not reveal situation on the ground.

Seeking clarification

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor told the reporters that the government should have given opportunity to parliamentarians to seek clarification on the statement of the Defence Minister. Refuting the government’s stand that such sensitive issues cannot be debated, Tharoor argued that they need to reach out to the public about what its understanding is and answer some questions.

“This is normal. During the 1962 war with China, (then PM Jawaharlal) Nehru ji held a debate and not only that, he managed to listen to 100 speakers amongst the MPs before coming up with a concrete response. That is the kind of constructive engagement we are seeking,” the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram stated.

He also stated that the opposition’s case is not to divulge any classified information but they certainly should be taking a position of clarifying what their overall thinking is about a pattern of five years of Chinese misbehaviour on the LAC.

Earlier, all the opposition parties got into a huddle at Kharge’s office to chalk out the strategy for the day in Parliament. Rajnath Singh had told both the Houses that Army thwarted Chinese PLA’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo at Yangste area, which is 25 kilometers away from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, on December 9. The clashes had left a few soldiers from both the sides injured and peace was restored after Flag Meeting took place between the military commanders of the two armies.