In a testament to his government’s commitment to “cooperative federalism,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has highlighted the dispersion of G20 meetings across the nation, with over 220 sessions conducted in 60 cities. The move, he asserts, reflects a significant shift from the previous approach.
In an interview with Moneycontrol.com, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of hosting international gatherings in various states, even those not governed by his party, as a demonstration of “cooperative federalism and bipartisanship” in pursuit of national interests. This assertion comes as India prepares to host the G20 Summit.
The Modi government has faced criticism from the opposition regarding the centralization of power and perceived encroachments on federalism, particularly in matters like sharing GST revenues and conflicts between governors appointed by the central government and opposition-led state administrations.
India’s presidency of the G20, according to Prime Minister Modi, exemplifies a commitment to “democratization.” He noted that the extensive meetings held across the country have contributed to capacity building, particularly among the youth.
Modi detailed the magnitude of this endeavor, stating that by the end of India’s G20 Presidency, there will have been over 220 meetings held in 60 cities across all 28 states and 8 union territories. These events have attracted more than 1 lakh participants from approximately 125 nationalities and have exposed over 1.5 crore individuals in India to various aspects of the G20 Presidency programs.
Hosting meetings of such scale and accommodating foreign delegates necessitates substantial investment in infrastructure, logistics, communication skills, hospitality, and cultural activities. Modi emphasized that this democratization of the G20 Presidency reflects the government’s commitment to capacity building, particularly among the youth. It also aligns with the motto of “Jan Bhagidari,” highlighting the importance of people’s participation in the success of any initiative.
Historically, Modi observed, the focus for hosting national and international meetings was centered on Delhi, particularly Vigyan Bhavan. However, he has championed a different perspective, recognizing the capabilities of people and the rich diversity of India. Thus, the government has worked diligently to change this approach since day one of his leadership.
As India gears up to host the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Modi’s emphasis on “cooperative federalism” and “democratization” underscores the evolving role of the country on the global stage and its commitment to inclusivity and regional representation.