India

Why is an all-party meeting different this time?

<br>Prime Minister Modi has called this meeting at a time when leaders of all major opposition parties, including Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, have asked the government to clear the confusion on the heightened tension at the border with China. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has also appealed to the government on several occasions to maintain transparency on this issue. Prime Minister Modi in the all party meet is likely to answer all the questions raised by the opposition.

This is going to be the third all-party meeting in the last four years on the challenges posed to the nation's security at the borders. The last one was on February 16, 2019 when the Union Government convened an all-party meeting, two days after the terrorist attack in Pulwama on February 14, 2019. Then Home Minister Rajnath Singh presided over this meeting.

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Before this, an all party meeting was also held on September 29, 2016, a day after the surgical strike in response to the terrorist attack on the army camp in Uri, Kashmir. For the first time in two decades, there was a sharp reaction in the country after 18 soldiers were killed in the Uri attack. The all party meet was chaired by the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

However, this time Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself chair the all-party meeting called in the face of the confrontation with China. This is the first time since the India-China War of 1962, when such a large number of soldiers were killed at the Line of Actual Control. Earlier in 1975, 4 soldiers were killed in firing at the border.

In such an important matter of national security, the government wants to take the opposition into confidence and resolve their doubts on all issues pertaining to the stand-off. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself is leading the charge and holding meetings after the killing of Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley.

It is in this perspective that the Prime Minister will himself chair the all-party meeting instead of the Home Minister as had happened on the earlier two occasions after the Uri and Pulwama incidents.

–IANS <br>hindi-skp/bg

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