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Business News/ News / India/  How BJP will leverage G20 summit to advance its political outreach
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How BJP will leverage G20 summit to advance its political outreach

The PM had earlier referred to the summit as an opportunity to present the country on the international arena.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi claps the table as he announces the consensus on the G20 Leaders Summit Declaration. (AP)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi claps the table as he announces the consensus on the G20 Leaders Summit Declaration. (AP)

NEW DELHI:The adoption of the New Delhi declaration at the end of the G20 Summit without impediments has given the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a platform to advance its political outreach and electoral campaign ahead of next year’s general election, riding on the triumph of an event it claims is a result of iPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.

The PM himself had earlier referred to the summit as an opportunity to present the country on the international arena. The summit having drawn to a close with a consensus on critical issues such as the Ukraine war, climate change, sustainable and inclusive growth has come as a shot in the arm for the ruling party that will face the electoral battle on the back of a two-term anti-incumbency and with the opposition parties banding together.

According to party leaders, the outcome of the summit and the key takeaways will be aggressively publicized over the coming weeks and will be conspicuous in the party’s outreach ahead of the elections that begin with five states going to polls at the end of the year and the 2024 election.

“It is undoubtedly a huge win for the government led by PM Modi. Getting world leaders to congregate at a platform and form consensus even on issues that are polarising such as the Russia-Ukraine war is not an easy feat. This also shows that PM Modi’s leadership is accepted. The opposition has been running campaigns against him, while he was working towards the growth and development of our country.... we will go to people with this message," said a senior party leader, not wishing to be named.

The leader said on earlier occasions when the government and the party spoke about India’s growing influence and heft and how it was emerging as a powerful voice, the opposition “ran down" the PM’s efforts on the global platform to “discredit" him.

“When Indian students and citizens of other countries were evacuated from Ukraine as part of Operation Ganga, they said it was done with the elections in UP in mind. A campaign has been run to show the government as intolerant...but this summit has exposed their designs," the leader said.

Referring to the opposition’s response to the summit, the leader said the “chinks in the opposition’s armour" were exposed as some chief ministers rose above party lines to attend the reception hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for the visiting dignitaries.

“Some of them (opposition) have reals\ized that the PM’s efforts in bringing the country onto the centre-stage have succeeded and world leaders who earlier did not think much of India are now acknowledging our might," the leader said.

The opposition was divided in its response to the summit. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on X, “The PM’s statements at the G20 and other summits globally are sheer hypocrisy. While destroying protections for India’s forests and biodiversity and diluting the rights of Adivasis and forest-dwelling communities, he talks of environment, climate action and equity.

Referring to the impact that the summit would have on the party’s electoral fate, and on PM Modi’s leadership in the context of domestic politics, senior BJP leader and president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, said India has been able to assert itself whether it’s proposing and leading the solar alliance or giving voice to the concerns of the developing countries at COP-27. “India has emerged as a global power and what PM Modi said about war has resonated with the others. This shows acceptance of India’s leadership," he said.

On the issue of the BJP leveraging the summit for domestic political gains he said, “It is natural that success at international platforms will benefit the government. Even when in the past such international meetings were held governments of the day benefited. But remember, this government handled it in a non-partisan manner. All non-BJP CMs too were made a part of the reception and that was very natural! We, never and nobody should look at such benefits from the lenses of domestic politics," he said.

The party has been quick to attribute the success of the summit to PM Modi’s leadership. On Sunday, party president JP Nadda said under PM Modi leadership, India has emerged as a voice for the Global South and has shown that even in times of major geopolitical divide, nations can cooperate for a better future for the planet and its people.

“The adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration at the summit has been particularly pathbreaking as it brought major world powers to a consensus on pertinent issues of geopolitics and climate. Our G20 success is a watershed in India’s diplomacy and has ushered in a sense of pride in the hearts of every Indian. It is also a testament to the timeless quality of our cultural values, which teach us that we are indeed One Earth, One Family, with One Future," he said on ‘X’ formerly Twitter.

The PM’s cabinet colleagues also hailed the success of the summit and attributed it to his leadership, an indication that the issue will be front and centre as the party begins preparations for the upcoming polls.

“The success of the event is a befitting reply to the opposition, the critics and those who have accused the government of enforcing majoritarianism, of having a limited view...while the PM is talking about forging ties, development of all, addressing the concerns of all, these people are busy splitting hairs," said the first party functionary quoted above.

Political commentator Manisha Priyam also concurred that the adoption of the declaration with consensus is a big win for the BJP.

“The visuals of world leaders with PM Modi at the centre, India as the voice of the global south, the adoption of the declaration without a hiccup are a huge win for the party. The achievement is that even its worst critics have been forced to say that it (summit) was pulled off well," she said.

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Published: 10 Sep 2023, 10:44 PM IST
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