LAC standoff, Agnipath on opposition agenda for monsoon session of Parliament

New Delhi: The India-China border standoff, the Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment in the armed forces, rising unemployment and depreciating rupee are some of the issues the Congress-led opposition may raise in the upcoming monsoon session. Parliament to corner the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Monsoon Session of Parliament will start from 18th July and will continue till 12th August.

The Congress on Monday attacked the BJP over the India-China border standoff, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was appeasing Beijing to save his image. The BJP hit back and asked whether the Congress believed in the Indian Army or not.

Congress Lok Sabha Chief Whip Gaurav Gogoi on Monday said, “More than two years after the border crisis with China began in eastern Ladakh, PM Modi’s strategy can be summed up with DDLJ: Deny, deviate, Lies, justified.” Popular Bollywood movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

Referring to the PM’s “no one entered Indian territory” statement, Gogoi said, “Yet somehow India has lost control of 1,000 square kilometer area where our soldiers could patrol earlier but now either Chinese have been blocked by troops or are no longer able to enter due to disengagement agreements.”

Targeting the Congress, the party’s national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “I want to ask the Congress whether it has faith in the Indian Army or not… Or do you want to do politics on his statement?”

Soon after Trivedi’s remarks, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi, “Increasing infiltration by China and silence of the Prime Minister is very harmful for the country”. The BJP leader also claimed that the Congress was hardly a cohesive unit and its leaders wanted to walk out of the party.

Responding to Gogoi’s DDLJ remark, Trivedi said, “Congress should be the only party whose president and former president are out on bail in a corruption case (referring to the National Herald case).”

The Congress demanded a dedicated briefing to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense on the India-China border dispute and a two-day debate in Parliament.

India and China have been locked in a border standoff since May, 2020 and several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have resulted in only a partial release of troops from friction points.

A senior Congress leader said the opposition would also demand the withdrawal of the Agneepath scheme – which seeks to recruit soldiers for only four years, in which 25% of them in the regular cadre after another round of screening for 15 years. There is a provision to maintain till Upcoming monsoon session.

“The issue of farmers will also be very important, especially in the context of the government not fulfilling all the promises made to farmers,” the senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity, said. “Depreciating rupee, unemployment situation, price rise and overall economic mismanagement will also be major issues for us.”

He also said that Congress ally DMK may demand a debate on the ongoing political and economic crisis in neighboring Sri Lanka.

“Our focus will be on people’s issues like Agneepath scheme and economic problems,” the senior Congress leader said.