STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 as the government highlighted its year-long programmes to mark the exercise.
G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
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 speech, 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, who is also 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.
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao and JD(U) chief Lalan Singh did not attend the meeting. 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 the ruling BJP’s attempt to project the development as a major success for the government.
“Every country in the G20 will automatically be President when their turn comes,” Yechury said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge highlighted at the meeting that India has in the past chaired the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit.
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.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Sikkim’s Prem Singh Tamang, and Maharashtra’s Eknath Shinde attended the meeting.
Also in attendance were Delhi Chief Minister 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 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.
India officially assumed the G20 presidency on December 1.
The country is expected to host over 200 preparatory meetings across the country beginning this month. The next G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of heads of states or governments is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10 next year in New Delhi. G20 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.