BJP lauds the PM as a strong defender of people

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 05, 2019

JP Nadda, BJP Working President   -  THE HINDU

Political considerations seemed to have played a major part in the final decision to not join

A rush of congratulatory messages starting from BJP President Amit Shah and working President JP Nadda on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “bold and historic” decision to not join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Monday showcased the ruling party’s determination to nip the opposition’s plans to harvest the popular discontent against the trade agreement.

Although the opposition Congress has claimed moral victory over India’s decision to quit RCEP, the relief pouring from farmers’ organisations, dairy and auto industry and other stakeholders, all of whom have thanked the PM for protecting their interests, is decidedly going to help the BJP project its pro-people approach to decision-making.

A late afternoon press conference by a joint opposition led by the Congress to raise domestic industry and farmers’ concerns against RCEP on Monday combined with nationwide protests planned by the opposition preceded the late night announcement by the Ministry of External Affairs and the PM that India was exiting the RCEP.

‘UPA damage undone’

Soon afterwards, Nadda issued a statement underlining that the PM has “undone the damage started by the Congress led UPA government which first explored a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China in 2007 and then joined the RCEP negotiations with fifteen countries including China in 2011-12”.

BJP President Amit Shah tweeted in the same vein, pitting the PM’s tough stand against the Congress’s weakness at the multilateral forum.

“PM’s firm stand over the years of not going ahead with a deal if our interests are not taken care of is a welcome break from the past where a weak UPA government ceded precious ground on trade and could not protect national interest,” said Shah.

Nadda went on to elaborate on how the Congress-led UPA had, in the past, compromised the country’s interests.

“…This was soon after they had hurriedly finalised very weak FTAs with ASEAN and South Korea in 2010 and Malaysia and Japan in 2011 opening Indian markets to imports with very little benefits in return. During the Congress-led UPA government from 2004-14 India’s trade deficit with these nations increased 11 fold from $7 billion in 2004 to $78 billion in 2014. Under the strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi India has consistently ensured that India’s national interest will never be compromised and we should get a fair and balanced trade deal,” said Nadda.

Published on November 05, 2019

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