While the BJP plans to showcase the G20 success politically and project it as yet another example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statesmanship, the summit has left the INDIA alliance divided on its response.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor termed the Delhi declaration of the G20 Leaders’ Summit to be a “diplomatic triumph for India”, but criticised the government on not inviting Leader of the Opposition and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge or other MPs from the Opposition.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, however, was present at the President’s dinner after an invite was sent to all CMs. Sukhu later said he had used the occasion to ask Prime Minister Modi for a special package for his flood-hit state.
On the other hand, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for attending the G20 dinner. Congress Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and Siddaramaiah (Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, respectively) skipped the G20 dinner. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also gave it a miss.
Mamata Banerjee was present at the G20 dinner along with Chief Ministers from other Opposition parties and INDIA allies like MK Stalin, Nitish Kumar and Hemant Soren. The DMK, JD(U) and JMM apparently decided not to mix politics with the President’s invitation.
A senior BJP leader accused the Congress of never respecting courtesies involved with such events. “The Leader of the Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge, did not attend the Independence Day function at the Red Fort despite an invitation. During the summit, Rahul Gandhi was abroad and as usual castigating India on foreign soil. BJP president JP Nadda was also not invited to the G20 dinner as this was not a political event… only former PMs, Chief Ministers and Union Ministers were invited. The venue had limited capacity,” the leader said.
BJP’s Political Pitch
The BJP is now planning a major push to project the G20 success politically and it would also feature in the special session of Parliament being held in the new building. The government would highlight the major takeaways from the G20 summit like achieving a joint declaration, giving the African Union a place in the G20, the new economic corridor from India to the Middle East to Europe, the climate change fund push that has set the agenda for the COP later this year in UAE, and how Modi led from the front to make the summit a big success for India.
The Congress reaction to the G20 Summit will also be put under the scanner by the BJP as Rahul Gandhi was abroad at the time of the summit and criticized the “condition of democracy” in India on foreign soil. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra used the term ‘Inka G20’ (their G20) while referring to the summit.
“Priyanka Vadra & her party are entitled to be bitter & crib but look at what Priyanka ji says “INKA G20” – Are such programs “inka” “unka” or Bharat Ka? This is the mindset problem of a family that has always believed – “Jo Desh Ka woh inke parivar ka”…she is only manifesting that! (sic)” BJP spokesperson Shehzaad Poonawalla posted on X (formerly Twitter).