Congress leader Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday lashed out at the government for “stubbornly” refusing a discussion on the India-China border issue in Parliament, and said its silence on matters of serious concern has become its defining feature.
Addressing party MPs at the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the central hall of Parliament, she also accused the government of delegitimising the judiciary and termed it as a “troubling new development”.
Referring to the border situation, the former Congress president said disallowing a parliamentary debate on such a serious issue “shows disrespect for our democracy and reflects poorly on the government’s intentions”.
She said a frank discussion strengthens the nation’s response and it is the duty of the government of the day to inform the public and explain its policies and actions.
Noting that the “continuing incursions by China on our border is a matter of serious concern”, she said the nation stands with vigilant soldiers who repelled these attacks under difficult conditions.
Gandhi said when facing a significant national challenge, it has been the tradition in our country to bring Parliament into confidence.
“The government, however, stubbornly refuses to allow a discussion on the issue in Parliament. As a result, Parliament, political parties and the people remain ignorant of the true situation on the ground,” she said.
“Unfortunately, silence on matters of serious concern has become the defining feature of this government’s tenure. While blocking debate, the government is also actively engaged in targeting the opposition and any questioning voices, manipulating the media and undermining the institutions which stand in their way. This is happening not only in the Centre, but also in every state where the ruling party governs,” she charged.
Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9 and the face-off resulted in “minor injuries to a few personnel from both sides”, according to the Indian Army.
Noting that a frank discussion strengthens the nation’s response, Gandhi said it is the duty of the government of the day to inform the public and explain its policies and actions.
“This refusal to allow a parliamentary debate on such a matter of grave national concern – shows disrespect for our democracy, and reflects poorly on the Government’s intentions. It demonstrates its inability to bring the nation together,” Gandhi also asserted.
On the contrary, Gandhi alleged, “by following divisive policies, by spreading hatred and targeting some sections of our society, the government makes it harder for the country to stand up as one against foreign threats.” “Such divisions weaken us and make us more vulnerable. At times like this it must be the government’s endeavour and responsibility to unite our people, not divide them as it has been doing these past several years,” Gandhi said at the meeting.
She said a debate can shed light on several critical questions like why China is emboldened to continually attack India and what preparations have been made to repel these attacks, and what more needs to be done.
With inputs from News18