Modi proposes yet another G20 meet, a virtual one, in November: An election ploy?
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi delivers his remarks at Session 1 on ‘One Earth’ during the G20 summit, in New Delhi on Saturday, September 9, 2023, with the nameplate ‘Bharat’ in front. Indian national security advisor Ajit Doval is seen in the back. (ANI Photo)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi said on the concluding day (10) of the G20 summit in New Delhi that the outgoing host will host another meet in November, a virtual one, in order to track the progress of proposals submitted and discussed at the just concluded summit by members of the grouping.
“As you all know India has the responsibility of G20 presidency till November. Two and a half months are still left. In two days you (the leaders) have shared your thoughts, opinions, suggestions and proposals…It is our responsibility to review the suggestions that have been shared (by different countries) and track the status of the proposals submitted. It is my suggestion that we keep another virtual session of G20 Summit in the end of November,” Modi, who passed on the G20 presidency’s baton to Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the concluding day of the event, said.
He also noted that in the session in November, the leaders will review the topics and themes that were discussed at the summit. He also said that more details on the virtual summit will be sent by his team soon.
The G20 summit in New Delhi witnessed a huge success when a consensus was achieved on a leaders’ declaration, something many thought would be difficult because of divisions in the grouping over the Ukraine war. Two key world leaders — Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping — were also absent at the summit, adding fuel to apprehensions.
“On the back of the hard work of all the teams, we have received consensus on the G20 Leaders Summit Declaration and announce the adoption of this declaration,” Modi told the block leaders in New Delhi.
An election ploy?
However, many saw in Modi’s announcement over a virtual summit in November a ploy to make use of the diplomatic success ahead of next year’s general elections in India. The two-time prime minister will seek his third straight mandate in 2024 and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is leaving no stone unturned to make the mission successful, especially against a resurgent opposition that recently came together to challenge Modi and gave their alliance the name of INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance).
France’s Le Monde said in an article titled ‘Indian PM Narendra Modi leverages G20 summit for propaganda’ said the Indian leader used the high-profile event as a “tool for self-promotion and propaganda”.
“Promoting confusion between foreign policy and partisan affairs, the G20 logo is inspired by the lotus flower, which is sacred in Hinduism but also used by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its symbol. The maneuver is so crude that Manmohan Singh, the former prime minister of the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) party, has called on Modi to “restraint in using diplomacy and foreign policy for party or personal politics”,” it added.