New York | Congress MP Shashi Tharoor slammed the Central government on Sunday for not inviting the opposition to the G20 Summit meeting. Tharoor said that a country that calls itself the "Mother of Democracy" completely excluded its "democratic opposition" from the event.
"A country which calls itself the Mother of Democracy was showcasing an event from which its democratic opposition was excluded. That was very unfortunate," the Congress MP said in an interview with ANI.
Tharoor said that there was a "complete failure" to accommodate the Opposition in the G20 event and the spirit of "accommodation and conciliation" that was present in achieving the Delhi Declaration was not extended in the "domestic context".
"There was a complete failure to accommodate the Opposition. The same spirit of accommodation and conciliation that we saw in achieving the Declaration was not extended in the domestic context to Indians," Tharoor said.
The Central government did not invite any opposition leader to the President's dinner for G20 delegates barring the Chief Ministers of opposition-ruled states. This invited sharp criticism from the Congress as well as parties in the opposition INDIA bloc.
"The leader of the Opposition was not invited. The opposition Members of Parliament were not invited, not even the Members of relevant Parliamentary Committees dealing with foreign affairs. Nobody was invited to any of the events, receptions...," the Congress MP said.
Pointing out that inviting Chief Ministers of opposition-ruled states does make up for this exclusion, Tharoor said, "The Chief Ministers have
responsibilities of the states. It is the national level Leader of Opposition and the opposition MPs who follow national policies and foreign policy..."
"When you are having an international event, MPs are the ones to invite when you want to showcase some opposition as part of the mother of democracies concept. But no MPs were invited, not even Mr Kharge, the leader of the opposition. That is unprecedented, surprising and disappointing," Tharoor added.
The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, on the other hand, congratulated the country's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar for negotiating with Russia and China and arriving at a consensus on the 'Delhi Declaration'.
"I would like to congratulate Amitabh Kant, the G20 Sherpa and our Foreign Minister because what they have done is excessively very good for India. It is not easy to pull off a diplomatic negotiation like this. They both seem to have put in a lot of hard effort. And one should give credit where credit is due," Tharoor said.
Lauding Kant and Jaishankar on the Delhi Declaration, the Congress MP said, "The achievement of actually squaring the circle, which is an impossible task, almost, on Ukraine, is really very very impressive."
Speaking on the difficulties involved in negotiating with Russia, given the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Tharoor said, "...for nine months we were genuinely facing, the Finance Minister's meeting, the Foreign Ministers meeting,...their positions seemed to be getting farther apart rather than closer together. So it was really an extremely effective achievement to pull this off and I would like to compliment those led by Amitabh Kant and Jaishankar."
Earlier in a post on 'X', Shashi Tharoor praised the G20 Sherpa saying, "Well done @amitabhk87! Looks lile the IFS lost an ace diplomat when you opted for the IAS! "Negotiated with Russia, China, only last night got final draft," says India's G20 Sherpa on 'Delhi Declaration' consensus. A proud moment for India at G20!"