“I don’t need you to tell me,” said S. Jayashanker regarding fair and free elections.

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The arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the freezing of the Congress’ bank accounts were topics of discussion last week with UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the organisation. The minister noted that a very pointed question was posed to the UN representative.

On Thursday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar disregarded a previous statement made by a senior United Nations official regarding the elections in India, stating that he does not want the international organisation to inform him that the polls should be “free and fair”.

His remarks were in response to a question on a UN Secretary-General spokesperson’s statement that they “hope” that everyone in India is allowed to vote in a “free & fair” environment and that people’s “political and civil rights” be upheld.

Mr. Jaishankar further stated that the UN official made the remark on the Indian elections last week in answer to a “very loaded question” during a press briefing at the UN. Mr. Jaishankar was in the country to support his ministerial colleague and BJP candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar in the Lok Sabha polls.

“I don’t require confirmation from the UN that our elections ought to be fair and free. I have the Indian populace. India’s citizens will see to it that fair and impartial elections are held. Therefore, don’t worry about it,” the minister said to reporters in this interview.

The UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, was questioned last week regarding the “political unrest” in India prior to the impending national elections in the wake of the

“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,” said Mr. Dujarric.

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