Hope Parliament will send message that entire nation standing with soldiers: PM

New Delhi (NVI): In his customary remarks before the starting of the Monsoon session of Parliament today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he hopes that both the houses of parliament will give a strong message that the entire country is standing with the soldiers who are guarding the borders despite a challenging terrain and weather.

In a clear reference to the Indian troops deployed at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, PM said he hopes that all members of the parliament will send an encouraging message to the soldiers. PM’s remarks were aimed at boosting the morale of the Indian soldiers deployed at LAC, amid an escalating border row with China.

“Today the brave soldiers of our army are on the borders. They are defending the borders with great courage and high spirits, in the difficult terrains. And the rains are going to begin in a few days. Just like the faith with which they are standing, determined to protect the motherland, these Houses and all the members of the House too will send out a message in a unanimous voice, spirit and resolve – the country stands in support of the Indian army through the Houses and the Members of Parliament.”

“The entire House stands with the brave soldiers of the country with one voice; I believe that this House and all the honorable members too will give out a very strong message,” PM said in his address at the parliament premises.

The border tussle between India and China is also expected to be raised by the Parliament in the truncated 18-day monsoon session. This is the first parliament session to be held after the pandemic outbreak.

The Centre is also expected to make a statement on the tense situation at LAC in both houses. Tensions have erupted at the de-facto border between the two countries since May and were further escalated in June after the deadly clashes between the troops from both sides at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. An undeclared number of Chinese PLA troops also lost their lives in the blood face-off.

China again resorted to brazen violations of the border agreements and protocols when it made an attempt to change the status quo on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso Lake along the LAC in August end but it was thwarted by the Indian Army.

That was followed by another “provocative action” along the LAC, just a day after the transgression at Pangong, even as the ground commanders of the two sides were in discussions to de-escalate the situation. That attempt too was thwarted by the alert Indian troops.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met in Moscow on the sidelines of SCO summit last week. The two sides reached an agreement on the five points during talks.

Meanwhile, the 18-day monsoon session will be marked by staggered sittings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, distancing between MPs in the house, working weekends and limited visitors. Proper seating arrangements have been made as per Covid-19 protocols, apart from other safety measures.

PM Modi in his address also said that “we cannot drop our guards” until there is a vaccine. “…we cannot afford any laxity in our approach unless there is a medicine. We are hoping that the vaccines should come up from any corner of the world as soon as possible, our scientists become successful in this direction as soon as possible and we can succeed in getting everyone out of this crisis,” he said.

In his opening remarks, PM said that this parliament session is being held under special circumstances. “There is a corona pandemic on one hand while our obligation towards fulfilling our duties on the other; and all the MPs have chosen the path of duty. I congratulate and thank all the MPs for this initiative,” he said.

-ARK