Galwan Valley face off is a crisis that needs a calibrated response: BJP

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes the mounting tension at the border with China is due to Beijing growing restive over New Delhi’s “emergent economy” and its “strategic assertion on Arunachal Pradesh”, party functionaries aware of details said on Friday.

The party said the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley on Monday night, which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, is a crisis that needs a “calibrated response and a well thought out reaction”.

On Thursday, the BJP called off all its political programmes for the next two days as a mark of respect for the 20 soldiers killed in action at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Party president JP Nadda tweeted, “The supreme sacrifice of our brave soldiers while guarding our motherland in Galwan Valley will always be remembered. The nation is indebted to them. I pay homage to the martyrs. BJP has decided to postpone all its political programmes including virtual rallies for next 2 days.”

A senior party leader said on condition of anonymity that China’s aggression stemmed from “its growing insecurity” about India emerging as an economic rival.“China sees India as a threat to its economic clout. They are also threatened by India asserting its position in Arunachal Pradesh in a more forceful manner. And now post-corona, they feel investors will prefer India over them. So, they have opted for aggression on the border,” said the first functionary.

Will the government accept the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh’s demand for revisiting trade ties with China? A second functionary said India’s priority is securing national security and the government will take steps to safeguard Indian interests.

On Wednesday, the department of telecommunications (DoT) conveyed to BSNL not to use Chinese-made equipment while upgrading its 4G facilities, and a day later, the Indian Railways’ PSU Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) announced it will terminate a contract with China’s Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication for signalling work on the Kanpur-Deen Dayal Upadhyay Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

Affiliates of RSS, the ideological fount of the BJP, are pushing the government to boycott Chinese goods.“The Indian Army is capable of handling Chinese occupation at the borders, but we have to evict their occupation from our markets,” said CK Saji Narayanan, president of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.

Responding to the opposition’s criticism that the government has maintained silence on the issue, a third BJP leader said there has been no compromise on national security.“The opposition is irresponsible in asking the government for knee-jerk reactions. The government is taking its time to issue a statement because of the sensitivity of the problem. Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas,” the third functionary said.

The first functionary added, “The government’s approach to the loss of lives will be based on the cardinal principle of drawing up a befitting response to the attack.”The BJP also denied that deepening strain in the ties with China, Pakistan and Nepal indicates problems in the government’s foreign policy. A muscular foreign policy has been the mainstay of the government’s report card during its first term in office.

Even during ongoing digital rallies being addressed by senior BJP leaders to mark the completion of the first year in office during the second term, there have been references to surgical air strikes against terror camps in Pakistan as an example of the government’s undeterred focus on national security.

Political analyst Sanjay Kumar of the Centre for Developing Studies said the BJP’s narrative of projecting the crisis as a fallout of China’s insecurity will resonate with the people.

“The BJP is very good with its messaging and the prime minister enjoys immense credibility with the man on the street. So if the government says it is not a diplomatic failure but China trying to block India’s entry into the expanded G-10 or rivalling its emerging markets, they will believe it,” he said.

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