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UN prods India to be free and fair for voting, saying Kejriwal's arrest is concerning

UN prods India to be free and fair for voting, saying Kejriwals arrest is concerning

The political volatility, which has been unfolding in India under the BJP government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, considered to be the largest democratic exercise in the world, has drawn concerns from the UN as well in connection with the arrest of the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the freezing of the Congress party’s fund.

In a press briefing, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, emphasized the importance of protecting political and civil rights during election periods, urging for a free and fair atmosphere for voting in India.

Earlier, Germany and the US had hoped that India would follow "fair, transparent, timely legal processes" in the case of Kejriwal, only to be reminded to refrain from commenting on the internal matters of the country.

The United States, despite objections from India, issued a statement through State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, urging for fair, transparent, and timely legal processes in response to the arrest of Kejriwal and the freezing of Congress party's bank accounts.

This drew a sharp response from India, which reiterated that the matter was internal and summoned senior US diplomat Gloria Berbena in protest.

Germany also weighed in, with foreign office spokesperson Sebastian Fischer emphasizing the expectation that democratic principles and judiciary independence would be upheld in Kejriwal's case. India responded similarly to Germany's comments, summoning German deputy chief of mission Georg Enzweiler to lodge a strong protest.

This recent exchange marks the second time in two weeks that India has pushed back against criticism from the United States, previously asserting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as an internal matter.

Additionally, in the case of Germany it reflects the third instance of friction between the German Foreign Ministry and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs over judicial actions involving Indian opposition leaders and civil society in the past three years.

The developments underscore growing international scrutiny of India's domestic affairs, particularly concerning the treatment of political opposition and democratic processes. As India prepares for upcoming elections, the spotlight on its internal affairs from Western powers adds a layer of complexity to its diplomatic relations.

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TAGS:Lok Sabha Elections 2024
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