PM chairs key all-party meet on G-20
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a meeting of leaders from all parties on India's Presidency of the G-20 and sought their cooperation to make it a big success, while opposition leaders urged him to use the opportunity for the country's benefit.
G-20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies.
At the meeting, the government highlighted the year-long programmes that have been planned during India's Presidency.
Some opposition leaders, including Sitaram Yechury and D Raja of the Left, noted that India taking over the Presidency was by rotation and said it should not be projected as the government's achievement, sources said.
Modi, in his address, asserted that it was an occasion for the entire country to be proud of and everyone should contribute to its success, they added.
The Prime Minister had spoken on similar lines at a BJP meeting, saying that every citizen should be proud of the development.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and the West Bengal chief minister said at the meeting that the G-20 Presidency was not about one party's agenda but of the entire country, sources said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said it was a matter of pride that India has got the G-20 Presidency and asked Modi to leverage this opportunity for the country's benefit and help deter China from carrying out incursions at the border as well as correct the trade imbalance with it.
He also asked the Prime Minister to use this opportunity to help the country secure a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and play a key role in helping nations out of the debt crisis as his predecessor Manmohan Singh had done during the 2008 economic crisis, the sources said.
Raising the issue of some nations providing aid and support to terrorism, he said the Prime Minister should use this occasion to seek the support of other nations to act against such countries, the sources said.
On India's stand on the Ukraine war, he also told the Prime Minister to continue efforts to maintain peace and help create an environment where no war-like situation is created again.
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao and JD(U) chief Lalan Singh did not attend the meeting. The RJD also skipped the meeting.
In a statement highlighting 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".
Opposition leaders' comments are apparently aimed at countering any BJP attempt to project the development as a major success for the government.
"Every country in the G-20 will automatically be President when their turn comes," Yechury said.
Raja said the government should take the opportunity to showcase the achievements of India's youths and farmers, and pitched for empowering women by bringing in legislation for reservation for them.
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin, taking part in a meeting on the G-20 summit on Monday, expressed confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would use the opportunity to promote the values of peace, non-violence, harmony, and equal justice all over the world.
Stalin, in his address at the Delhi meet, assured the Centre of Tamil Nadu's full support and cooperation in conducting conferences to mark India's G-20 Presidency.
"I congratulate our Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India assuming the G-20 Presidency for 2023. This is a matter of great pride to our country and we have a very important role to play in promoting international understanding," he said as quoted in an official release.
India is keenly observed by, not just G-20 countries, but all countries around the globe, the chief minister said.
"I strongly believe our Prime Minister will use this opportunity to promote the values of peace, non-violence, harmony, equality and equal justice all over the world. I assure that Tamil Nadu will extend its full support and cooperation in conducting the conferences to mark India's G-20 Presidency."
"We will show India's greatness to the world. I thank our prime minister on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu for this opportunity," Stalin said.
Kharge highlighted at the meeting that India has in the past chaired the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit and hosted its summit in 1983 along with the CHOGM summit which was attended by leaders of several countries.
He also recalled the words of former US President Barack Obama lauding Manmohan Singh for being the "primary partner" in working solutions during the 2008 economic crisis that gripped the world.
The IMF has that 53 nations are going through a debt crisis, Kharge said and expressed the hope that India shows the path forward in helping these countries come out of the crisis.
Sources said Kharge also asked Modi to help create a system that could aid the repatriation of fugitives who escaped to other countries after committing economic frauds in India.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Sikkim's Prem Singh Tamang, and Maharashtra's Eknath Shinde attended the meeting.
Also in attendance were Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Jagan Mohan Reddy, Tamil Nadu's M K Stalin, BJP president J P Nadda, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu.
Those from 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.
India officially assumed the G-20 Presidency on December 1. The country is expected to host over 200 preparatory meetings across the country beginning this month. The next G-20 Leaders' Summit at the level of heads of state or governments is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10 next year in New Delhi.
G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union.