An all-party meeting, called by the government on Tuesday on the Sri Lanka crisis, saw protests by members of opposition parties over the economic conditions of Indian states being discussed.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that Sri Lanka is in a serious crisis but dismissed suggestions that India could have a similar crisis. He said that the big lessons of Sri Lanka is to be drawn on fiscal prudence and good governance, and “fortunately in this country, under the leadership of the PM we have both in very ample measures”.
However, as the presentation by Finance Ministry officials had apprehensions that freebies could damage economic condition of the states, the opposition objected to economic condition of the states being brought up.
After the meeting, Jaishankar said: “It was government’s initiative as to tell the leader about the situation of the states.. total 46 parties we’re invited, 28 attended the meeting… 8 ministers were from government. Why we called this meeting is because… we wanted to all parties, all leaders of the country to appreciate… there is a very serious crisis in Sri Lanka… tje situation is in Sri Lanka is very unprecedented and facing a financial and political crisis.”
He clarified that there was “no political intent” but the officials presented economic situation of all the states.
However, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy, who attended the meeting, said: “It was improper to call meeting on Sri Lanka and give presentation on states.”
From the government side, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi was present while P Chidambaram and Manickam Tagore of the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, DMK’s T.R. Baalu and M.M. Abdulla were among those present.