Modi’s strategy on UNSC seat a mistake, says Yashwant Sinha

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 26, 2015 23:05 IST
Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha addresses a press conference on the economic issue at BJP HQ Office on March 30, 2014 in New Delhi, India. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha on Saturday said the NDA government’s approach of pursuing the G-4 grouping of nations for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council was a mistake. Sinha made the comments in an interview hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with other G-4 leaders in New York.

He said instead of continuing with the UPA’s approach of pushing the G-4, Modi should have tried to convince the world by taking an active, assertive and a high-profile role in international political and security issues, particularly the fight against extremist group Islamic State. The G-4 bloc consists of Brazil, Germany, Japan and India.

In an interview with Karan Thapar for the India Today TV programme ‘Nothing But The Truth’, Sinha – who was a foreign minister in the Vajpayee government - said in the unlikely eventuality that the Security Council was expanded, the new permanent members would not be given veto powers and would have second-class status. It would be demeaning of India to accept this.

“The more we show the unity of G-4, the greater will be opposition to new inductions,” he said, adding, “We should not be begging for a permanent seat.”

Asked what were the chances of India getting the coveted seat with the current approach, Sinha said: “Very distant. Very very distant… the G-4 has created more confusion… because each one of us has brought our own baggage,” he said. Sinha’s remarks are a sharp criticism of the PM’s policy to continue with UPA’s strategy.

He also said unity among developed countries should have been “far more important than aligning with developing countries”.

He went on to argue that the government had either not understood the text accepted by the General Assembly in September or was misleading the country when it called it a significant document.

Sinha said the G-4 approach of “begging” was “demeaning” and such high-profile meetings would only act to unite the opposition against expansion of the Security Council and permanent membership for the G-4 countries -- Brazil, Germany, Japan and India.

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