Hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Centre over the RCEP, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday reminded him it was the Congress-led UPA that entered negotiations in 2012, adding the prime minister was cleaning "your mess".
In a stinging tweet, the BJP said: "Dear @RahulGandhi, Seems meditation trip has woken you up to RCEP. Facts that will help your selective amnesia: 1. UPA entered RCEP negotiations in 2012, 2. Trade deficit with China increased by 23 times from $1.9Bn in 2005 to $44.8Bn in 2014."
Dear @RahulGandhi,— BJP (@BJP4India) November 4, 2019
Seems meditation trip has woken you up to RCEP. Facts that will help your selective amnesia:
1. UPA entered RCEP negotiations in 2012
2. Trade deficit with China increased by 23 times from $1.9Bn in 2005 to $44.8Bn in 2014
3. Now PM Modi is cleaning your mess. https://t.co/lkFwna78Xm
Earlier, the Gandhi scion had asserted that "Make in India" had become "Buy from China", claiming the proposed free trade deal will flood the country with cheap goods, resulting in millions of job losses and crippling the economy.
Gandhi's takedown of the proposed trade agreement came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Bangkok where negotiations for the long-overdue Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was heading towards finality.
"Make in ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ®ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³" has become “Buy from ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¨ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³”.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 4, 2019
Each year we import Rs. 6,000/ worth of goods from ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¨ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³ for every Indian! A 100% increase since 2014. #RCEP will flood India with cheap goods, resulting in millions of job losses & crippling the ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ®ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³ economy. https://t.co/4DqzARiL6D
The proposed free-trade agreement includes 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six of the bloc’s dialogue partners — China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The possible delay in firming up the RCEP during the three-day ASEAN summit in Bangkok has been attributed to India's demands on market access and tariff-related issues.
Hardball negotiations to address sticky issues went down to the wire on Sunday, with India holding on to its demand for an amicable resolution of its demands.