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Home Minister Amit Shah hails PM Narendra Modi for not signing RCEP trade agreement

PM Narendra Modi, who attended the RCEP summit in Bangkok on Monday, said that India cannot sign the RCEP agreement because new Delhi cannot compromise on core interests of the nation.

Home Minister Amit Shah hails PM Narendra Modi for not signing RCEP trade agreement

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deciding against joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement and slammed the previous Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for failing to protect India's national interest.

PM Modi, who attended the RCEP summit in Bangkok on Monday, said that India cannot sign the RCEP agreement because new Delhi cannot compromise on core interests of the nation.

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

He added, "Narendra Modi's firm stand over the years of not going ahead with a deal if our interests are not taken care off, is a welcome break from the past, where a weak UPA government ceded precious ground on trade and could not protect national interest."

Addressing the RCEP meet in Bangkok, the prime minister noted that the RCEP agreement does not reflect its original intent and the outcome is neither fair nor balanced. "The present form of the RCEP Agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirt and the agreed guiding principles of RCEP. It also does not address satisfactorily India's outstanding issues and concerns In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join the RCEP Agreement," said PM Modi.

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The External Affairs Ministry said India decided against joining RCEP because of several unresolved issues and it would not be right for New Delhi to ink the RCEP trade agreement under current circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Congress claimed moral victory over India's decision to not join the RCEP agreement and stressed that the Centre decided to pull out the agreement because of the protests by Congress and other opposition parties.

"A forceful opposition by Congress and Rahul Gandhi ensures that BJP government backs down from bartering the interests of farmers, dairy producers, fishermen, small and medium businesses at the altar of political expediency. A victory for all fighting for protecting national interests (sic),"  Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.