“Don’t Need UN To Tell Me…”: S Jaishankar On Elections Remark


Thiruvananthapuram: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday dismissed a senior United Nations official’s recent remark on elections in India, saying that he does not need the global body to tell that the elections in the country should be “free and fair”.

His comments came in response to a query regarding a statement by a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General that they “hope” that in India, people’s “political and civil rights” are protected and everyone is able to vote in a “free & fair” atmosphere.

Mr Jaishankar, who was here to campaign for his ministerial colleague and BJP candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar in the Lok Sabha polls, also said that the UN official made the comment on the Indian elections last week in response to a “very loaded question” during a press briefing at the UN.

“I don’t need the United Nations to tell me our elections should be free and fair. I have the people of India. The people of India will ensure that elections are free and fair. So, don’t worry about it,” the minister told reporters during an interaction here.

Last week, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, was asked about the “political unrest” in India ahead of the upcoming national elections in the wake of the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the freezing of the opposition Congress’ bank accounts.

“What we very much hope that in India, as in any country that is having elections, that everyone’s rights are protected, including political and civil rights, and everyone is able to vote in an atmosphere that is free and fair,” Mr Dujarric had said.

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