China intruded territory in Doklam, says Centre; Oppn promises support

Opposition parties’ meet jointly held by EAM Sushma Swaraj & HM Rajnath Singh at the latter’s residence

Opposition parties’ meet jointly held by EAM Sushma Swaraj & HM Rajnath Singh at the latter’s residence

During Jaishankar's background briefing on China, Siliguri and the Chicken's Neck Corridor that joins mainland Indian with the northeastern states came up for discussion several times, pointing to the fact that West Bengal is looking at the developments on the China front very closely because of the proximity of these areas to the global border with China. "We shall also ask the government to clarify all implications for our national security and the necessary steps being taken in protecting our national interests and also steps to be taken", Surjewala had told reporters.

While the meeting was largely around the Chinese issue, the opposition also had some questions relating to Jammu and Kashmir.

President Amit Shah were present at the meeting, held at Singh's residence. Parties such as the Congress, CPI (M), JD (U), SP, NCP, BSP, TRS, TDP and Trinamool Congress were present at the meeting.

The ministers insisted the attack was not the result of a security lapse but occurred because the bus was not registered with authorities and drove through the area long after security forces had withdrawn.

"National security is priority of INC, advised them to tackle situation diplomatically, rising above politics for national interest", said Congress leader Anand Sharma. "It is the highest forum for discussion and debate", he said when asked if these issues would be taken up in parliament. The Ministry of External Affairs said it had not been informed and refused to confirm whether China would be discussed. The opposition hailed Singh for his views on Kashmiriyat which he made following the Amarnath yatra attack.

An official statement issued after the meeting said the three ministers briefed leaders on India's stand on Bhutan and underlined the need to support the tiny border nation considering India's special relationship with it. Everyone said that they, across party lines, are with the government over the issue. "We didn't get answers we were looking for", said TMC leader Derek O Brien.

But AIADMK parliamentarian A Navaneethakrishnan said they are satisfied with the government's response. These are the hard questions we asked.

In the meeting, the government also briefed opposition parties on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir where seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed by militants in Anantnag.

The top ministers told the opposition leaders that Doval will be visiting China on July 26-27 and will put forward before Chinese interlocutors India's position, they said.

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