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India's ‘NO’ to RCEP: BJP lauds ‘PM's strong leadership', slams Cong for bowing to ‘global pressure'

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New Delhi, Nov 04: BJP leaders praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'strong leadership and unflinching resolve' after India decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

MEA's Secretary (East), Vijay Thakur Singh, said India conveyed its decision at the summit not to join RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) Agreement. This reflects both our assessments of the current global situation and of the fairness and balance of the agreement, Singh further said.

Home Minister Amit Shah

India had significant issues of core interest that remained unresolved. PM highlighted that he was guided by the adverse impact it would have on the lives of all Indians, specially the vulnerable sections of the society, the MEA tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

"India's decision to not sign RCEP is a result of PM's strong leadership and unflinching resolve to ensure national interest in all circumstances. It shall ensure support to our farmers, MSMEs, dairy and manufacturing sector, pharmaceutical, steel and chemical industries," Home Minister Amit Shah said.

[India's decision not to join RCEP taken in national interest]

BJP working president JP Nadda

BJP working president JP Nadda

"India didn't bow down to global pressure&give away its economic interests, unlike previous Congress-led governments which opened Indian market through weak FTAs. PM Narendra Modi Ji has again shown his commitment to safeguard interests of the poor," BJP working president JP Nadda said.

[Opposition leaders meet to discuss economic issues, RCEP trade deal]

PM Modi Modi in a group photo with other world leaders at the 3rd RCEP Summit in Bangkok

PM Modi Modi in a group photo with other world leaders at the 3rd RCEP Summit in Bangkok

In his speech at the RCEP Summit, Modi said that a lot of things, including global economic and trade scenarios, had changed during seven years of RCEP negotiations that can't be overlooked.

[To be or not to be: Why India is wary of joining RCEP?]

"The present form of the RCEP Agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of RCEP," the PM said, adding that India's farmers, traders, professionals and industries have stakes in such decisions.

PM Modi attends the 14th East Asia Summit

PM Modi attends the 14th East Asia Summit

India's stand was a mixture of "pragmatism, the urge to safeguard interests of poor and effort to give an advantage to India's service sector while not shying away from opening up to global competition across sectors."

The negotiations were first launched at the 2012 ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, but had sputtered along since then as India's cautious stance since then to protect domestic interests had been the major hurdle. It is not clear whether the RCEP agreement would move forward without India.

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