<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of various political parties, including Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, raised questions over reports of China maintaining a sizeable presence of its troops near the site of the Doklam standoff as a Parliamentary panel on Monday took up briefings from top officers of ministries of Defence, Home and External Affairs.The matter came up when the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, examined the issue of Sino-india relations, including Doklam, the border situation and co-operation in international organizations.The briefing was made by officials on the topic ‘Sino-India Boundary Disputes and Border Security including Doklam’.Officials who briefed the panel included Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.A media report recently showed satellite images of Chinese troop build-up near standoff point on the Doklam plateau. Alluding to it, Rahul Gandhi, according to sources, asked the government officials about reports in media that China is augmenting its military presence in areas close to Doklam.Responding to it, the foreign secretary said the Chinese army is within its own territory and even Indian forces are present on the other side in good number.A source said some members also raised questions about growth possibility of trade between the two countries vis-a-vis road construction activitiesThe over two-and-half-month-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam had begun mid-June over the Chinese Army constructing a road close to the tri-junction.At the height of the controversy, the government had held two special briefings on the issue for Opposition members the same month during which both sides have batted for resolving the issue diplomatically.The panel, which had earlier also discussed the issue on October 18, has now decided to call experts for a briefing on the issue of Sino-India relations in the next meeting.Monday’s meeting was attended by only odd a dozen of the total 30 members in the panel, prompting a BJP MP to ask Tharoor questions about quorum for holding such a meeting.In the panel’s last meeting as well, Gandhi had asked a number of questions to the government regarding the Doklam issue.BJP had in past attacked Gandhi when he had met the Chinese Ambassador in Delhi in July during the peak of the Indo China row over Doklam. Gandhi had defended the move saying It was his job to be informed on critical issues.SINO-INDIAN RELATIONSThe matter came up in a meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs
The committee is chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor
The meeting was held on the topic ‘Sino-India Boundary Dispute, including Doklam.
The panel has decided to call in experts for a briefing in the next meeting