India Warns German and US Diplomats to Mind Your Business

Germany had expressed concerns over Kejriwal's arrest, calling for fair judicial proceedings and adherence to democratic principles.

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India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia December 27, 2023. - REUTERSPIX

New Delhi, India – Tensions between India and two Western powers, Germany and the United States, escalated as India issued strong warnings against what it deemed as unwarranted interference in its internal affairs.

The dispute began when the deputy head of the German Embassy, Georg Enzweiler, was summoned to the Indian foreign ministry following Germany’s comments on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi and a prominent critic of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Germany had expressed concerns over Kejriwal’s arrest, calling for fair judicial proceedings and adherence to democratic principles.

In response, India’s Ministry of External Affairs rebuked Berlin, denouncing the remarks as interference in its judicial process and an undermining of its judiciary’s independence. India reiterated its commitment to democracy and the rule of law, asserting that legal proceedings in Kejriwal’s case would follow due process.

Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on corruption charges related to an alleged liquor scam. Kejriwal’s arrest drew sharp criticism from opposition parties, who labeled it as a politically motivated move by the ruling BJP.

The confrontation with Germany comes amidst a broader political landscape as India gears up for general elections next month. The AAP, part of the opposition ‘INDIA’ alliance, is poised to challenge the dominance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP. However, analysts predict a favorable outcome for the BJP in the upcoming polls.

This diplomatic clash with Germany follows a recent spat with the United States over India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The law, which grants residency to undocumented migrants from select religious communities in neighboring countries, has drawn scrutiny from Washington. The US State Department’s expression of concern regarding religious freedoms under the CAA was met with strong condemnation from New Delhi.

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