The Congress on Saturday demanded clarity from the central government over the border tension with China in Ladakh. The party urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to inform the citizens of the country about the outcomes of the repeated dialogue with the Chinese side.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was the prime minister and the defence minister’s “rajdharma” (duty of the rulers) to take the nation into confidence on the important matter. “What is the conversation about, what is happening,” he asked while listing the various talks held with the Chinese side. “Will Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh take the country into confidence?”

In a video posted on Twitter, Surjewala said people wanted answers to questions such as how the Chinese will be repulsed to “reclaim our motherland”. “We hope Prime Minister Modi and the defence minister will come forward and take the nation into confidence,” he added. “That is the true Rajdharma. We will await an answer.”

Congress leader Rajeev Shukla also demanded that the government should give a clear picture of the situation, reported PTI. “Conflicting statements coming from the government is a matter of worry for us,” he said during an online media briefing.

The Congress’ comments came a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe, said Beijing violated bilateral agreements by trying to unilaterally change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh and exhibiting aggressive behaviour. The two leaders met on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Moscow. The Chinese side, meanwhile, said that India was “entirely” responsible for the border tensions and said that it would not surrender even “an inch of its territory”.

India-China tensions

Tensions between India and China have flared up again, over two months after the troops of both the countries clashed on the border on June 15, in Ladakh. Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives and 76 were injured. An unidentified number of Chinese soldiers also died in the clash.

On September 1, India had said that China had once again engaged in provocative military maneuvers along the Line of Actual Control. The new escalation in border tensions came a day after the Indian Army said its soldiers had thwarted similar movement of the Chinese military in the South Bank area of Pangong Lake in Ladakh.

Indian Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane had said on Friday that the situation along the Line of Actual Control was “slightly tense” and precautionary measures were taken to increase security.

On Thursday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar suggested that a solution for the continuing tensions along the Line of Actual Control with China has to be found through diplomacy. The foreign minister said it was imperative for both the countries to reach an “accommodation” not just for themselves, but the world as well.

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  2. Beyond Modi-Xi summits: To avoid military escalation, what are India’s options?