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New Delhi, June 19, 2020
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPM leader Sitaram Yechury are among several opposition leaders expected to attend Friday's all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the killing of 20 Indian soldiers by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the Galwan valley.
There will, however, be no representatives of the Aam Aadmi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the AIMIM at the meeting.
The meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. and it will be attended by the political parties through video conferencing.
The meeting has been called by Modi days after the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a violent face-off with Chinese troops at patrol point 14 on Monday night in Ladakh's Galwan valley.
The India-China faceoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been going on since early May and the brutal attack came amid a de-escalation operation and disengagement talks already underway.
Other leaders expected to attend the meeting are Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, CPI leader D. Raja, DMK President M. K. Stalin, and Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United President Nitish Kumar.
However, RJD, AAP and the AIMIM alleged that they have not been invited to the meeting called by the Prime Minister.
In a tweet on Thursday night, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, "A strange egoistic government is at the Centre. AAP has its government in Delhi, in Punjab it is the main opposition party and also has four MPs and also has its presence across the country. But for all the important issues BJP will not take the opinion of AAP. What the Prime Minister will say during the all party meeting is eagerly awaited by the country Amen."
RJD leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav also tweeted on Thursday night: "Dear Defence Minister and PMO, Just wish to know the criteria for inviting political parties for tomorrow's All Party Meet on Galwan Valley. I mean the grounds of inclusion/exclusion. Because our party RJD hasn't received any message so far."
Coming under attack from the opposition parties, especially the Congress, the Prime Minister after lengthy meetings with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on Wednesday sent out a clear signal to China that India won't tolerate any misadventures when it comes to defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Articulating India's clear stand, the Prime Minister, at the beginning of his video conference with the chief ministers, said: "I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain."
"For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are important. India wants peace but when instigated, India is capable of giving a befitting reply," he said, adding sacrifice and valour are in India's character.