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BJP MPs hail Modi's Nepal visit, government defends WTO stance

Posted on Aug 05 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 5 : The BJP Parliamentary Party Tuesday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal, terming it "historic," his speeches and body language "wonderful", and said he had injected a new life in bilateral relations.

The parliamentary party meeting was also told about India's stand at WTO trade talks at Geneva, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stating that the government was determined to resist all "anti-Indian farmer moves".

The meeting, which was chaired by Modi and attended by party leaders L.K. Advani, Rajnath Singh, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj and Jaitley, was also briefed about the government's stance concerning the civil services examination controversy.

A resolution adopted at the meeting said that Modi had spoken in a new language of diplomacy during his Nepal visit, which matched expectations of the Himalayan country, and had inaugurated a fresh start in bilateral relations. It said his "speeches and body language shown is wonderful".

"This trip is historical break from an unforgettable past," the resolution said.

It said that Modi's support to democratic republic constitution has helped in removing several misgivings and noted that his stance of no interference in Nepal's internal affairs was well received.

It also congratulated Modi for being "the first (Indian) prime minister to address parliament of Nepal".

"This is a great achievement of diplomacy. Prime minister is making concerted efforts to have a new and meaningful friendship among SAARC nations. Modi has injected a new life in Indo-Nepal relations," the resolution said.

Meanwhile, Jaitley assured the parliamentary party that the government was committed to protect the interests of Indian farming community and people who live below poverty line (BPL), according to a Bharatiya Janata Party release.

He said the government would prefer to go ahead with the trade facilitation principle at WTO only after categorical assurance on public stock holding of food grains, procurement of food grains and public distribution system (PDS).

Noting that the government is voicing concerns regarding the Indian farmers' issues at various international fora, he said: "Our government is determined to resist and block all anti-Indian farmer moves by World Trade Organization (WTO) and other agencies," he said.

Jaitley said the US and European countries are providing USD 400 billion subsidy every year to their farmers. "We have to support our farmers. Otherwise the farmers would face difficult situation," he said.

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said that India was committed to pro-farmer stand despite heavy pressure from the developed nations.

She said that WTO resolution at Bali summit in 2013 "was not a perfect agreement as the core principles are not incorporated in it."

She said that several countries have appreciated the stance taken by India.

Naidu informed the meeting that the government had come up with best available solution to the civil services exam controversy.

He also attacked the Congress over its stance on the insurance bill, stating that the UPA government had introduced it but the party was now apprehensive against credit going to the Modi government.

Naidu said that BJP national council meeting would be held in the capital Aug 9.

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