Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament and Former Union Minister from Congress had tweeted that India had swapped its place with Italy and Indonesia to hold the G20 Summit in 9th & 10th September 2023 in New Delhi for ‘milking’ the event for electoral gains.
India was originally slated to take over presidency of G20 for the year 2022. Instead in late 2020 the Indian Govt asked Italy to take over for 2021 and Indonesia for 2022 so that India's turn comes in 2023.
Talk about milking events for election purposes.
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) December 25, 2022
Earlier this month, Jairam Ramesh had already criticized the hype being created around India’s G20 presidency which is rotational, and it was inevitable that India would get the presidency at some point in time. He also pointed out that several countries such as USA, UK, Canada, South Korea, France, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Turkey, China, Germany, Argentina, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Italy & Indonesia have hosted the G20 event but none of these countries staged a “high voltage drama” that the current administration is doing.
Coming back to the claim that India swapped places with Italy, it is evident from this article from 2018 which explains India’s arrangement with Italy to swap their turns to host the event in India. India was originally slated to host the G20 event in 2021 and Italy was to hold the event in 2022. However, in 2018, India negotiated with Italy to swap the turns to host the event which put Italy’s turn in 2021, India’s turn in 2022 and followed by Indonesia in 2023. At that time, it was reported that the change was made to coincide with India’s 75 years of Independence.
However, India made another change in this line up to host G20 summits, this time by swapping places with Indonesia. It was reported in 2020 that India had switched places with Indonesia, enabling India to hold the G20 Summit in 2023 at New Delhi.
The initial swap with Italy by India to hold the G20 meet citing that the event should coincide with India’s 75 years of Independence is understandable but another swap with Indonesia to push the date of the summit held by India to the second half of 2023 is quite strange as it was reported that there had been no official reason for the changes.
It is interesting to note that India is going all guns blazing to hype up the G20 Summit and to cement the “Vishwa Guru” tag to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was originally intended for India heading into the next 25 years leading up to the 100 years of Independence.
Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Minister of Education, had appealed educational institutes, NGOs and social organizations to conduct competitions on the theme of India’s G20 presidency in a Twitter post.
I appeal, especially to educational institutes, NGOs and social organisations to conduct various competitions on #G20India themes to engage more and more students.
Let us all join the movement to showcase India’s strengths, plurality, traditions & achievements to the world. pic.twitter.com/xXLZKZxzSh
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) December 26, 2022
This comes after the government’s move to make the G20 logo omnipresent in the country which was also heavily criticized by the opposition as the government left no stone unturned. Government websites, several public places & government offices now bear the G20 insignia with several sites under of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) had been projecting the logo on to the monuments.
The logo itself has been criticized for resembling BJP’s election symbol, the lotus, which the BJP had claimed to represent the India’s cultural & “national” flower, along with colors such as saffron and green which also takes prime place in BJP’s official flag. Jairam Ramesh had criticized the logo vehemently that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP won’t lose any opportunity to promote themselves shamelessly.
Over 70 years ago, Nehru rejected the proposal to make Congress flag the flag of India. Now,BJP's election symbol has become official logo for India's presidency of G20! While shocking,we know by now that Mr.Modi & BJP won’t lose any opportunity to promote themselves shamelessly!
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) November 9, 2022
With elections expected to be held in the April, May of 2024, Modi government’s publicity push for G20 which is alleged to have a BJP’s party emblem, is bound to attract harsh criticism from opposition, as the party symbol would be publicized everywhere to everyone at Government’s expenditure.