BJP members skip par panel meeting on Doklam, report adoption deferred

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NEW DELHI, Aug 9 (PTI): Several BJP members stayed away on Thursday from a parliamentary panel meeting that was to adopt a report on “Sino-India relations” in wake of the Doklam stand-off and the border situation, resulting in a lack of quorum, sources said.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, has prepared the draft report but it could not be adopted as most of the BJP members were not present and the quorum could not be reached, sources present in the meeting said.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi is also member of the 31-member panel, where a majority of the members are from the BJP.

The panel had also met on Tuesday to adopt the report but some members complained of not receiving the draft therefore meeting was postponed for on Thursday.

The committee had also travelled to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh to take stock of ground situations and meet senior officials there.

It has been briefed several times on the issue by the former and current foreign secretaries and other officials.

The foreign ministry officials had informed the panel that Bhutan was firmly with India on the issue.

During discussions, Rahul Gandhi had questioned foreign ministry officials on China’s objective and why Beijing chose Doklam to create a confrontation, sources had said.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector from June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped construction of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese Army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.

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