India won’t comment on Kamala Harris nomination

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the government would not make any statement on the development, as it could be seen as an interference in the U.S.’s internal politics

August 14, 2020 10:01 pm | Updated 10:22 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava. File.

Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava. File.

India will not comment on the U.S.’s Presidential elections, said the government, days after Kamala Harris was nominated to be Democratic Party front-runner Joseph Biden’s Vice-Presidential running-mate. Ms. Harris is the first person of Indian extraction, born to a Jamaican-born father and Indian mother, to be on a U.S. Presidential ticket.

Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Smith had wished Ms. Harris on her “historic selection” in a tweet. Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam had also tweeted on the announcement, calling it a “moment of pride for Indians, especially for the people of Tamil Nadu”, as Ms. Harris’s mother belonged to Chennai.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the government would not make any statement on the development, as it could be seen as an interference in the U.S.’s internal politics.

“In general [the government of India] would not like to comment on the electoral process of any other country,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Friday, when asked whether the government or the Indian Embassy in Washington had reached out to congratulate Ms. Harris.

The government’s statement also reflects caution after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran into some controversy over comments at the joint rally in Houston in September last year. When PM Modi quoted U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “ Abki baar Trump sarkar ” in his speech, it was reported in U.S. newspapers as an endorsement for Mr. Trump. However, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar later made it clear that Mr. Modi had only referenced the previous election in his comments, not the upcoming one.

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