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Roving Periscope: The US refutes Russian claims, denies ‘interference’ in Indian polls

Roving Periscope: The US refutes Russian claims, denies ‘interference’ in Indian polls

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Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: The United States on Thursday refuted Russia’s claims and denied Washington is ‘meddling’ in India’s ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The US reaction came a day after Russia said that America was trying to interfere in India’s parliamentary elections and “unbalance” the internal political situation in the South Asian country.

“No, of course, we don’t involve ourselves in elections in India,” US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said, refuting Russian allegations accusing America of meddling in the Lok Sabha polls, the media reported on Friday.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also said the US was yet to provide “reliable evidence” of the involvement of Indian citizens in the foiled murder plot against Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a US-Canadian citizen, who is regularly issuing threats to India.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Zakharova called it “Regular unfounded accusations by the United States against New Delhi.”

“We see that they groundlessly accuse not only India but also many other states of violating religious freedoms, which are a reflection of the United States’ misunderstanding of the national mentality, the historical context of the development of the Indian State and disrespect for India as a state,” Zakharov added.

However, refusing to comment on the alleged plot to kill Pannun, Miller said “There is a publicly returned indictment that contains alleged facts. They are allegations until they’re proven before a jury that anyone can go and read. I won’t speak about them here because, of course, it’s an ongoing legal matter, and I’ll leave it at that.”

Russia’s criticism of America on this matter reportedly stemmed from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent interview with a TV news channel wherein, while replying to a question, he said, without naming any, that some countries are not just trying to influence but ‘interfering’ in India’s ongoing elections.

All this meddling, PM Modi said, will cease after June 4 when his government returns to power for a third term.
Earlier, Canada was accused of interfering in India’s elections.

Russia, and China, have also been accused of meddling in the ongoing presidential elections in America.


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