Bharat Express

US “Closely Watching” Rahul Gandhi’s Disqualification Case Ahead Of Summit For Democracy

Biden Administrationalso underlined that the two nations had shared commitments to democratic values, including upholding freedom of expression.

US Rahul Gandhi's disqualification Summit For Democracy

US speaks on Rahul Gandhi's disqualification ahead Summit of Democracy

The Biden Administration has said that the United States is “closely watching” the conviction and sentencing of the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who has recently lost his MP (Member of Parliament) status due to his disqualification in India ahead of India’s participation in the US democracy summit.

US on Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification

The US is set to hold a ‘Summit for Democracy’ for the second edition today i.e. on Wednesday. Several leaders from 111 countries will be participating virtually. From India, Prime Minister is likely to attend the summit.

Taking notes from the unrest amid Rahul’s Gandhi disqualification, the US not only stated that it was keeping a close eye on the case but also underlined that the two nations had shared commitments to democratic values, including upholding freedom of expression.

Speaking to the media, the principal deputy spokesperson of the US State Department said, “So respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr Gandhi’s case in Indian courts, and we engage with the Government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values – including, of course, freedom of expression.”

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‘We continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles…’

Further, he said, “In our engagements with our Indian partners, we continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression, as a key to strengthening both our democracies.”

When the media asked if the Biden Administration had any engagements with Gandhi, the spokesperson said that it was normal and standard for the US to engage with members of opposition parties in any country where it had bilateral relationships. “But I don’t have any specific engagement to read out.”

Recently, the US State Department published a report on the human rights situation around the world. The report cited that instances of human rights violations in India, including alleged unlawful and arbitrary killings, purported attempts to curb freedom of the press and persecution of religious and ethnic minorities. The US Commission for International Religious Freedom too in the past published reports, expressing concerns over the persecution of minorities in India.

Moreover, the Biden Administration has been conveying to the Indian government its concerns over the perception in the US about the backsliding of Indian democracy.

Earlier this month, Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar hosted the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. During the meeting, the United States again took up the issue of issue of perception about democratic backsliding in India. The US State Department had last month stated that it had been closely monitoring the survey conducted by the Income Tax authorities at the offices of the British Broadcasting Corporation in India.