Russia Accuses US of Meddling in India’s Elections Amid Religious Freedom Criticism

Published on: May 11, 2024 11:15 IST

Amidst rising tensions, the Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the US of attempting to destabilize India during its upcoming general elections. The accusation comes in response to a report by a US federal commission criticizing India for alleged violations of religious freedom.

According to Russia Today news, Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, stated that the US lacks understanding of India’s national mentality and history, and is making unfounded accusations regarding religious freedoms.

Zakharova emphasized that such actions are disrespectful to India as a country and constitute interference in its internal affairs. This comes following the release of the annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which renewed its recommendation to declare India a “Country of Particular Concern” due to alleged discriminatory policies by the ruling BJP.

In response, the Ministry of External Affairs of India condemned the USCIRF for attempting to interfere in India’s electoral process and engaging in propaganda against the country. Randhir Jaiswal, spokesperson for the ministry, criticized the USCIRF as a biased organization with a political agenda and expressed no expectation of understanding India’s diverse ethos.

Additionally, Moscow dismissed allegations of an Indian official’s involvement in a plot to assassinate Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Zakharova stated that Washington has not provided reliable evidence, labeling speculation without evidence as unacceptable. The Indian External Affairs Ministry similarly rejected a report by The Washington Post linking an Indian official to the alleged plot, describing it as speculative and irresponsible.

The exchange reflects escalating tensions between major powers over India’s internal affairs and underscores the challenges of navigating geopolitical narratives amidst complex international relations.

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