Development agenda at G-20 was to my credit: PM

By Arvind Padmanabhan, IANS,

On Board Air India One: In a rare instance of self-praise, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said while the endorsement of India’s stand at the G-20 Summit was thanks to his team, his role was to bring the development agenda on the table.

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“I do not claim victory,” the prime minister told journalists while returning from the G-20 Summit in Seoul, when asked if it was his contribution that led the G-20 leaders to adopt in the final declaration all that he said at the summit.

“Well, I do claim some credit that in my speech, I brought the development issue into the very forefront of a sustainable, manageable growth process,” the prime said, sounding rather uncomfortable, as Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, his sherpa or pointsperson at the summit, sat next to him.

At the summit, the prime minister said that the G-20 leaders should not only look at surpluses and deficits, but also see the imbalances becoming an opportunity to bridge the gap between the rich and poor countries.

“And that point, after I made that in my opening speech, I was caught up by several other speakers and they complimented me that I focussed and had brought development to the forefront of the international dialogue.”

(Arvind Padmanabhan can be reached at [email protected])