Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 5 presided over a meeting of leaders from all political parties on India’s presidency of the G-20 and sought their cooperation to make it a big success as the government made a power-point presentation of its year-long programmes in the run-up to the 2023 summit.
“Prime Minister [Modi] emphasized the importance of teamwork, and sought the cooperation of all leaders in the organization of various G20 events. He pointed out that the G20 Presidency would help showcase parts of India beyond the conventional big metros, thus bringing out the uniqueness of each part of our nation,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, adding that Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had addressed the meeting.
The MEA also made a presentation on India’s priorities at the G20 presidency, which PM Modi said “belongs to the entire nation.”
During the two-hour meeting, 15 leaders spoke and several of them reiterated that India taking over the presidency was by rotation and it should not be projected as the government’s achievement.
G-20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
In his concluding speech, Mr. Modi asserted that it was an occasion for the entire country to be proud of and everyone should contribute to its success. G-20 events are not just of the Centre but also that of the States and in that context cited the on-going meet of the Sherpas at Udaipur.
While congratulating the country over its presidency, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge urged the Prime Minister to use India’s influence to raise the border incursion issue with China, demand a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and formulate a common law to deal with economic offenders and fugitives.
Mr. Kharge not only urged the government to showcase the achievements of the country in the past 70 years but also highlighted former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s leadership to the G-20 countries during the economic crisis of 2008. He also cited that India in the past had chaired the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet.
Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the G-20 presidency was not about one party’s agenda but of the entire country.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin assured the Union government of his State’s full support and co-operation in conducting the conferences to mark India’s G-20 presidency.
Mr. Stalin strongly believed the Prime Minister would use this opportunity to promote the values of peace, non-violence, harmony, equality and equal justice all over the world.
Since a power-point presentation by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary talked about showcasing the empowerment of women, youth, farmers and disadvantaged sections, CPI general secretary D. Raja urged the Prime Minister to get the Women’s Reservation Bill passed.
In a statement highlighting party leader Sitaram Yechury’s comments at the meeting, the CPI(M) reiterated that India’s turn at the helm of the grouping is by the dint of a “rotating presidency” and stated that the concept “ Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam does not mean imposing a uniformity but recognising a global family where social pluralities are celebrated by treating all diversities on the basis of equality and dignity”..
TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao and JD(U) chief Lalan Singh did not attend the meeting. The RJD also skipped the meeting.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Sikkim’s Prem Singh Tamang, Maharashtra’s Eknath Shinde attended the meeting.
Also in attendance were Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, BJP president J.P. Nadda, Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Those on the government side present at the meeting included Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister Piyush Goyal.