“PM Must Be Mindful Of Implications Of Words”: Manmohan Singh Over PM’s Statement On Ladakh

PM Modi on Friday, in an all-party meeting, had said “Neither is anyone inside our territory nor are any of our posts captured”.

New Delhi| Prime Minister must “always be mindful of the implications of his words”, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advised PM Modi, in his statement today on the Ladakh clash in which 20 soldiers were killed. The comment was made in reference to the controversy over PM Narendra Modi’s comments at an all-party meeting on Friday.

The Former PM also said the PM and the government must “rise to the occasion to ensure justice for Colonel B. Santosh Babu and our jawans who have made the ultimate sacrifice and resolutely defended our territorial integrity.”

In his first remarks after the face-off in Galwan valley, Dr. Singh said to do any less “would be a historic betrayal of the people’s faith”.

“At this moment, we stand at historic cross-roads. Our government’s decisions and actions will have serious bearings on how future generations perceive us. Those who lead us bear the weight of a solemn duty. And in our democracy that responsibility rests with the office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must always be mindful of the implications of his words and declarations on our Nation’s security as also strategic and territorial interests,” the former PM said.

PM Modi on Friday, in an all-party meeting, had said “Neither is anyone inside our territory nor are any of our posts captured”.

The opposition Congress picked up PM Modi’s claim to question him whether the Indian Territory had been ceded to China. The PMO had to give clarification stating that attempt was being made to give a “mischievous interpretation” to PM Modi’s remarks.

“Prime Minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces. The sacrifices of the soldiers of the 16 Bihar Regiment foiled the attempt of the Chinese side to erect structures and also cleared the attempted transgression at this point of the LAC on that day,” the PMO responded.

Adding that China was brazenly and illegally seeking to claim parts of Indian territory such as the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Tso Lake by committing multiple incursions since April, Manmohan Singh said, “We cannot and will not be cowed down by threats and intimidation nor permit a compromise with our territorial integrity. The Prime Minister cannot allow them to use his words as a vindication of their position and must ensure that all organs of the government work together to tackle this crisis and prevent it from escalating further.”

Expressing his dismay with political leaders who praised PM Modi’s stand at the all-party meeting, the former PM stressed, “This is a moment where we must stand together as a nation and be united in our response to this brazen threat. We remind the government that disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy or decisive leadership. The truth cannot be suppressed by having pliant allies spout comforting but false statements.”

Tagging the former PM’s statement as mere “wordplay”, BJP president JP Nadda said, “One only wishes that Dr. Singh was as worried about Chinese designs when, as PM, he abjectly surrendered hundreds of square kilometres of India’s land to China. He presided over 600 incursions made by China between 2010 to 2013!”

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