Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration for India’s G20 presidency that New Delhi would promote “universal sense of oneness” can be realised only if increased polarisation and economic downslide in the country is brought to a halt, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said at an all-party meeting on Monday.

India assumed the presidency of G20, or Group of 20 countries, on December 1. The presidency of the intergovernmental forum comprising the world’s major developed and developing economies is assumed by member countries on a rotational basis.

On Monday, Modi had convened an all-party meeting seeking their cooperation to make India’s presidential tenure a success in the lead up to the G20 summit scheduled to be held in the country in 2023.

Leaders of 15 parties spoke at the event with many of them underlining that India had become the G20 president by rotation, and that the government should not project it as an achievement, The Hindu reported.

In his speech, Yechury said that Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – which the government projects as its principle for the preisdency – does not mean imposing uniformity but is the recognition of a global family where social pluralities are celebrated. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is a Sanskrit phrase that means the world is one family.

At the meeting, Modi announced that a domestic political campaign programme around the theme “One Earth-One Family-One Future” will be carried out during India’s one-year presidency.

To this, the CPI(M) general secretary said: “The realisation of the theme announced by the government will be determined by correcting these current alarming trends in social, political, and economic spheres and strictly adhering to our constitutional foundations of liberty, equality, and fraternity that define the character of our secular democratic republic.”

Chinese incursions should be in focus, says Congress

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said at the meeting that New Delhi should leverage its G20 presidency to push Beijing to put an end to its incursions within India’s borders, The Times of India reported.

Kharge also said that India should use the opportunity to secure a permanent membeship of the United Nations Security Council.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee urged the government to keep a national agenda in mind during the one-year period, the Hindustan Times reported.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president MK Stalin offered his support to the Central government. Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja asked the government to chalk out plans to take up matters concerning the Global South.