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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Dec 5, 2022, presided over a meeting of leaders from all political parties marking India’s presidency of the G-20 in New Delhi and sought their cooperation to make it a huge success as the government made a presentation of its year-long programme in the run-up to the summit. During the two-hour meeting, Mr Modi emphasised the importance of teamwork, and sought the cooperation of all leaders. He was perhaps right, as it was an occasion for the entire nation to be proud of and every individual must contribute for its success.

While lauding the arrival of G-20 in India, the Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge requested the Prime Minister to make use of our country’s influence to raise the border incursion issue with China, besides demanding a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, and above all, formulating a common law to deal with economic offenders and fugitives. However, the Congress is aware that it is China that is posing a stumbling block to India’s entry in P-5, although the party leader Rajiv Gandhi would not be averse to leaving the benefit of doubt to Beijing.  

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, however, said the G-20 presidency was not about one-party’s agenda, thereby implying that the Prime Minister should evolve a consensus on this sensitive issue. BJP’s bete-noire DMK and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin promised his government’s cooperation in conducting about 200 conferences to mark India’s G-20 presidency.  While the CPI General Secretary D. Raja urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the Women’s Reservation bill passed, the CPI(M) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury reiterated that the nation’s turn at the helm of the grouping is by the dint of a rotating presidency. The divided house in the AIADMK prompted the Centre to invite only their temporary General Secretary, Edapaddi Palanisami, who expressed confidence that G-20 will take India to greater heights.

The G-20 meeting is expected to bring leaders of the Permanent-5 countries and others to New Delhi next September. It is pertinent to note that India has taken the baton from Indonesia, which had a difficult time in scheduling meetings and ensuring full participation, due to differences of opinion over the Ukraine war. The Centre will have to burn more midnight oil to evolve consensus on array of issues. Symbolism and logistical coordination part, the government has an uphill task ahead in conducting substantive negotiations to bring together a comprehensive G-20 agenda, where the need of an hour would be to focus on counter-terrorism, supply chain disruptions and global unity. 


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