Modi's visits abroad, RCEP highlighted at BJP meet

Modi's visits abroad, RCEP highlighted at BJP meet

 Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP leaders Jagat Prakash Nadda, Dharmendra Pradhan, Jitendra Singh, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Pralhad Joshi leave after the BJP parliamentary party meeting at Parliament House, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019.(PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "successful" visits to several countries as well as his participation in events such as the UNGA and BRICS meetings, and India's refusal to join RCEP in "national interest" were highlighted at the BJP parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal briefed BJP MPs on the issues in the parliamentary party's first meeting in the Winter session.

Modi did not attend the meeting.

BJP sources said Jaishankar told MPs that Modi's foreign visits have boosted India's standing and furthered the country's interests.

He spoke in detail about Modi's participation in the United National General Assembly meeting in the US in September and the 'Howdy Modi' rally, attended by thousands of people of Indian origin (PIO), which was attended by US President Donald Trump.

The prime minister's participation in the BRICS and ASEAN meetings besides his trips to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Bhutan were also spotlighted, with Jaishankar telling the ruling party's lawmakers that Modi brought the issue of terrorism to the fore and found support from most countries.

Issues such as the economy, traditional medicine, water crisis, digital health and other "people-centric" issues also came in for discussion, the sources said.

The external affairs minister mentioned the decision of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to accord their highest civilian honour on Modi.

In his briefing on India's decision to keep out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Goyal said it was in national interest as joining the grouping would have widened India's trade deficits with some countries and harmed its domestic industry, sources said.

Goyal said the UPA government favoured joining the RCEP but the Modi government has stood for the country's interest by keeping out of it.

At the party meeting, MPs were also asked to give details of the foot march that all BJP functionaries were asked to undertake to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on October 2.

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