22:38 GMT17 May 2021
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    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, India has had to delay its Monsoon Session of Parliament from July to September. Now beginning with social distancing measures in place, the 18-day Parliament session is likely to see the opposition slamming the government over border tensions with China and an uptick in coronavirus cases.

    Giving a call to all political parties to stand behind the country’s security forces, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday attempted to convey a collective message of political unity to the world at large amid border tensions with China and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Our soldiers are standing firm at the borders with a lot of courage, passion, and a strong resolve to protect their motherland. They are standing on difficult heights and in a few days, will weather snow. In the same manner, I am confident Parliament will send a message, in one voice, that it stands firmly behind the soldiers guarding our borders," the prime minister said ahead of the parliamentary session, which had been delayed from July to September due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

    While the government is likely to make a detailed statement on the border stand-off in the parliament, speculations are that the Opposition will be targeting the ruling party over repeated skirmishes between the Chinese and Indian armies. The nation's parliament is kicking off an 18-day-long session for the first time since the  pandemic broke out in the country in March.  

    Following the meeting between the foreign ministers last week, India and China agreed that both sides will adhere to the existing accords and protocols to maintain peace in the border areas. The agreement was reached amid media reports featuring satellite images allegedly showing a massive military build-up by the Chinese troops along the contested border areas.

    The two south Asian neighbours have been in a stand-off since the last week of April. Tensions between the two countries peaked in mid-June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off. The latest altercartion between their troops occurred on 7 September, when both sides accused each other of breaching the Line of Actual Control.


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