Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray are some of the leaders attending the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the India-China clash at Ladakh on Monday in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dialed all party presidents last evening to invite them to the meeting.
But two prominent exclusions are the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Lalu Yadav's RJD.
AAP and RJD did not meet the criterion of a minimum of five MPs for today's meeting, said sources.
RJD's Tejashwi Yadav demanded an explanation for not getting an invite.
Dear @DefenceMinIndia@PMOIndia, Just wish to know the criteria for inviting political parties for tomorrow's #AllPartyMeet on #GalwanValley. I mean the grounds of inclusion/exclusion. Because our party @RJDforIndia hasn't received any message so far.— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) June 18, 2020
The RJD has five MP and should have been invited, party leader Manoj Kumar Jha pointed out. "An all-party meet should mean that all of us should be allowed to put forward our views," Mr Jha told NDTV.
Arvind Kejriwal's AAP has four MPs. An upset AAP leader Sanjay Singh tweeted in Hindi: "There is a strange ego-driven government at the centre. AAP has a government in Delhi and is main opposition in Punjab. But on a vital subject, AAP's views are not needed? The country is waiting for what the Prime Minister will say at the meeting."
Later, AAP dialed down its resentment but said: "AAP is proud that the all party meeting is taking place in New Delhi , where AAP governs, and hopes that the meeting will bring about honourable solutions to the threat posed by China and to the ongoing crisis in Ladakh bringing back Galwan Valley back into India. AAP remains committed to stand up for India in all respects. AAP remains disappointed at its exclusion from the meeting but stands committed to its outcome".
The Congress and other opposition parties have been questioning the government on the deadly face-off with China in the Galwan Valley area.
Some 76 soldiers were injured as the Chinese assaulted them with hand-made weapons like spiked clubs, rods wrapped in barbed wire and rocks.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi yesterday commented on Twitter that Indian soldiers were sent "unarmed to martyrdom" in the brutal clash, which provoked a rebuttal from Foreign Minister S Jaishankar.
"How dare China kill our UNARMED soldiers? Why were our soldiers sent UNARMED to martyrdom," Rahul Gandhi had tweeted.
The Foreign Minister responded: "Let us get the facts straight. All troops on border duty always carry arms, especially when leaving post. Those at Galwan on 15 June did so. Long-standing practice (as per 1996 & 2005 agreements) not to use firearms during faceoffs."