Pretty much what Trump said. Bilateral FTAs are better than these huge trade blocs. Especially for a country like India that lacks trade related advantages.
We already have an FTA with ASEAN, Japan and Korea, and already none of these are in our favour. So it's better to work out these issues first.
ASEAN and the other countries already have FTAs with each other. The main goal of this group (primarily China) was to get India in, and now that's failed.
Free Trade is a False Concept , it is a huge LIE
Ultimately Self interest will Always Prevail
All such agreements can be
And will have to be junked if There is a Domestic political Uprising
That is why Trump has started his Trade wars with ALL countries