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  World   Americas  29 Mar 2024  US mentions Kejriwal arrest, Congress allegations; India responds

US mentions Kejriwal arrest, Congress allegations; India responds

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 29, 2024, 1:46 am IST
Updated : Mar 29, 2024, 1:46 am IST

Washington also seemed to dismiss New Delhi’s concerns on earlier comments by the US on Wednesday over the arrest of Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)
 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)

New Delhi: Totally unfazed over the summoning of a senior American diplomat in New Delhi by the external affairs ministry on Wednesday, the United States on Thursday went one step further and mentioned not only the issue of arrest of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal once again but also this time the allegations by the Congress Party that its finances were being choked by the BJP-led Central government.

Washington also seemed to dismiss New Delhi’s concerns on earlier comments by the US on Wednesday over the arrest of Mr Kejriwal. The US has argued that it “cannot compromise on democratic principles”, which are part of “shared values with India as two democracies”. India hit back again on Thursday, by saying that any “external imputation on our electoral and legal processes is completely unacceptable” and that it is “committed to protect them from any form of undue external influences”.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said at his weekly briefing: “As you are aware, yesterday, India has lodged its strong objection and protest with the senior official from the US embassy with regard to comments made by the US State Department. The recent remarks by the State Department are unwarranted. Any such external imputation on our electoral and legal processes is completely unacceptable. In India, legal processes are driven only by the rule of law. Anyone who has a similar ethos, especially fellow democracies, should have no difficulty in appreciating this fact. India is proud of its independent and robust democratic institutions. We are committed to protecting them from any form of undue external influences. Mutual respect and understanding form the foundation of international relations and states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others.”

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was quoted by news agencies as saying earlier in Washington, in response to a media query: “We (the US) don’t think anyone should object to that (comments)… We continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. We are also aware of the Congress Party’s allegations that the tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. With respect to your first question, I’m not going to talk about any private diplomatic conversations, but of course, what we have said publicly is what I just said from here, that we encourage fair, transparent, timely legal processes. We don’t think anyone should object to that. We'll make the same thing clear privately.”

It may be noted that while summoning US acting deputy chief of mission Gloria Berbena on Wednesday to lodge a strong protest, India had issued a statement “taking strong objection” to the remarks earlier on Tuesday by the US State Department spokesperson on the recent arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. New Delhi had said countries “are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs” of other nations and that “this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies”, adding that “casting aspersions (on India’s legal processes) is unwarranted”.

Tags: arvind kejriwal, indian national congress