Dubbing the talk “a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country”, international secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla suggested UK excessive commissioner to India Alex Ellis that British MPs “should refrain from practising vote-bank politics” by misrepresenting occasions, particularly in relation to a different fellow democracy.
The Indian excessive fee right here mentioned it “had taken note of the distinctly one-sided discussion” sparked by a petition on press freedoms and protester security in India. “We deeply regret that false assertions — without substantiation or facts — were made, casting aspersions on the largest functioning democracy in the world and its institutions,” it mentioned.
At the talk 17 out of 18 MPs, from Labour, the Conservatives and different events, condemned India for its remedy of farmer protesters and the alleged crackdown on the press, Internet shutdowns and arrest of activists. Most claimed they represented involved Punjabi constituents and referred to as on UK PM Boris Johnson to lift their considerations immediately with the Indian authorities.
“When aspersions are cast on India by anyone, irrespective of their claims of friendship and love for India, or domestic political compulsions, there is a need to set the record straight,” the Indian excessive fee mentioned. “It is also a matter of concern that comments were made to mislead the British Indian community, raising doubts about treatment of minorities in India, alleged human rights violations in ‘Kashmir’, etc.”
Two British MPs took the chance to launch a tirade in opposition to the BJP authorities. Labour MP Nadia Whittome, who’s of half-Punjabi and half Anglo-Indian heritage, mentioned: “I am proud to speak in solidarity with the millions resisting Modi’s regime. It is not protesting farmers, Rihanna or Greta Thunberg who are dividing India; it is the BJP.”
PoK-origin Labour MP Tahir Ali even referred to as for sanctions to be imposed in opposition to India. “These sanctions should include banning Modi and other representatives of the BJP government from entering the UK and the seizure of any UK based assets belonging to Modi or BJP figures until these abuses stop,” he mentioned. “They continue to abuse the human and civil rights not only of farmers, but of Kashmiri people… The UK should work alongside international organisations to protect human and civil rights in India and Kashmir,” he mentioned, mischievously claiming Kashmir is a separate nation.
“The UK government values its trade relationship with India, but it must be broader and deeper than just trade, it must also be about joint promotion of democracy, human rights and upholding international law,” mentioned Stephen Kinnock, Labour’s shadow minister for Asia. “We are deeply concerned about reports of live ammunition being used by police,” he mentioned. “Mr Modi does need to recognise the world is watching.”
“The UK Tory government, in their desperation to get a trade deal, are failing spectacularly to stand up for the human rights of the protesters,” claimed Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.
Conservative MP Theresa Villiers was the lone voice defending India. “Anywhere in the world agricultural reform is very, very difficult,” she mentioned. “Reform of farm subsidy and support has been under active discussion in India for 20 years, and international bodies such as the IMF have welcomed PM Modi’s attempt to take action.”
“Whilst this is an exciting time for the UK-India partnership it does not hinder us from raising difficult issues,” mentioned Nigel Adams, minister for Asia on the international, commonwealth & growth workplace, responding to the problems raised.
Advocacy for British Hindus and Indians (ABHI) UK has fired off a letter to MP Catherine McKinnell, chair of the petitions committee, to ask why the British parliament is “being weaponised to discuss a foreign country’s issues” and “wasting taxpayer money”. The letter requested why the talk, having no direct relevance to the UK, had been fast-tracked forward of a petition with 1.1 million signatures, calling to finish little one meals poverty within the UK.
“Has the UK parliamentary system been taken hostage by motivated interests pushing divisive, incendiary agendas?” the letter asks.
Conservative MP Bob Blackman, whose constituency has numerous Gujarati constituents, mentioned after the talk: “It seems there is a deliberate attempt to stir up hostility between the UK and India in a completely unnecessary fashion.”