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June 28, 1999
Centre to call all CMs to discuss Kargil
The government will convene a meeting of all chief ministers in the first week of July to discuss the fallout of the Kargil conflict.
This was decided at the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi tonight.
The meeting unanimously opposed crossing of the Line of Control by Indian forces, but disagreed on convening a special session of the Rajya Sabha on the issue.
While the Congress, the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and the Communist Party of India stuck to their demand for a special session, former prime minister Chandrashekhar, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies as well as the Nationalist Congress Party said there was no need for it now.
Vajpayee, however, assured the assembly that the government would consider the question.
About 50 representatives of various political parties who attended the meeting were sharply divided on the issue.
Briefing reporters later, Information and Broadcasting Minister Pramod Mahajan said there was no suggestion from any quarter to cross the Line of Control.
The meeting pledged to support every action of the government to flush out the infiltrators.
The political leaders also hailed the diplomatic victory the government has scored over Pakistan for the first time.
Winding up the discussions, Vajpayee pointed out that it was for the first time that India was facing a war-like situation as well as a general election. It is for all political parties to face both situations.
He assured the members that the government would not allow any third-party intervention in dealing with the Pakistan-backed infiltrators in the Kargil sector.
Mahajan said the three service chiefs made a 75-minute presentation with the help of maps, slides and videotapes on the ground situation in Kargil and how the armed forces are tackling the problem.
The meeting paid homage to the soldiers who have been killed in the fighting.
In all, 23 politicians took part in the discussion, which continued for nearly five hours. Some of them wanted that there should be frequent interaction with the Opposition to inform it of the latest developments. The prime minister agreed to this suggestion and went a step further to say that such meetings could be held even for two or three days at a stretch.
"The government wants to take everyone into confidence," he asserted.
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