Updated: March 10, 2021 4:41:08 am
INDIA SUMMONED the British High Commissioner on Tuesday and conveyed its strong opposition to the “unwarranted and tendentious” discussion on India’s agricultural reforms in the UK Parliament, describing it a “gross interference” in politics of another country.
The Ministry of External Affairs said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla advised the envoy that British MPs should refrain from practising “vote bank politics” by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to another fellow democracy.
India’s demarche to the envoy came a day after several British MPs held a discussion in Parliament over issues around the use of force against protesters opposed to agricultural reforms in India and journalists being targeted while covering the protests on the outskirts of Delhi.
“Foreign Secretary summoned the British High Commissioner and conveyed strong opposition to the unwarranted and tendentious discussion on agricultural reforms in India in the British Parliament,” the MEA said in a statement. “Foreign Secretary made clear that this represented a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country.”
The debate stemmed from an e-petition that attracted over 100,000 signatures on the British Parliament’s website. The 90-minute debate was opened by Scottish National Party MP and member of the Petitions Committee Martyn Day. Around a dozen cross-party MPs participated in the debate, including Indian-origin Labour MPs Virendra Sharma, Seema Malhotra, Tan Dhesi and Nadia Whittome.
The majority theme from most of the participating MPs centred around concerns over the “use of force” against protesters and curtailment of the freedom of some journalists covering the protests.
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