Indian Ambassador Defends PM Modi, Criticizes Congress Era in Letter to Irish Newspaper

India's ambassador to Ireland sparks controversy by defending PM Modi and criticizing the opposition Congress party in a letter to an Irish newspaper, raising questions about diplomats' role in domestic politics.

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Salman Khan
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Indian Ambassador Defends PM Modi, Criticizes Congress Era in Letter to Irish Newspaper

Indian Ambassador Defends PM Modi, Criticizes Congress Era in Letter to Irish Newspaper

India's Ambassador to Ireland, Akhilesh Mishra, has sparked controversy by defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi and criticizing the Congress party's rule in a letter to The Irish Times. The letter, posted on the official Twitter handle of the Indian embassy in Dublin, was a response to an editorial published by the newspaper on April 17, 2024, which was critical of the Modi government.

The Irish Times editorial stated that Modi and the BJP seem set for an even greater parliamentary majority in the upcoming elections, and accused Modi of cracking down on free speech and opposition parties, with hundreds of politically targeted corruption and tax cases filed against opposition MPs and leaders, severely tarnishing India's democratic credentials. Ambassador Mishra called the editorial "highly biased and prejudiced" and responded to the allegations, stating that all cases of corruption are pursued strictly as per the established procedure with availability of usual judicial remedies to the affected parties.

In his letter, Mishra praised Modi's "impeccable personal character and integrity" and his "thought-leadership on innovative, inclusive governance and sustainable development." He also criticized the "deeply entrenched ecosystem of corruption" created by the "single dynastic party" that ruled India for 55 years, referring to the previous Congress governments. Mishra claimed that Modi is fighting against this corruption, which was "created by the 55-year rule, including the first 30 years by a single dynastic party in India."

Why this matters: The Indian Ambassador's defense of PM Modi and criticism of the opposition Congress party in a foreign newspaper has drawn sharp reactions in India. The incident highlights the increasingly polarized political discourse in the country, with the ruling BJP and opposition parties engaging in heated exchanges even on international platforms. It also raises questions about the role of diplomats in publicly commenting on domestic political matters.

The Congress party has slammed Mishra's comments as "disgraceful" and has sought his sacking. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh called the ambassador's behavior "unprofessional and disgraceful," stating that while defending the government is expected, actively attacking opposition parties is not the role of an ambassador. The Indian government has stated that Mishra's rejoinder was not sanctioned by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Key Takeaways

  • Indian ambassador to Ireland defends PM Modi, criticizes Congress party in letter to Irish Times.
  • Irish Times editorial accused Modi of cracking down on free speech and opposition parties.
  • Ambassador praised Modi's "impeccable personal character" and criticized Congress's "ecosystem of corruption".
  • Congress party slammed ambassador's comments as "disgraceful", sought his sacking.
  • Indian govt said ambassador's rejoinder was not sanctioned by Ministry of External Affairs.