Britain Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s defense for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House of Commons has grabbed worldwide attention. Sunak made headlines after he shut down Pakistan-origin MP Imran Hussain and openly disagreed “with the characterisation” of the Indian Prime Minister on the issue of 2022 Gujarat riots.
Hussain was highlighting the claims made in the BBC documentary that the FCDO, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, knew the “extent of Narendra Modi‘s involvement” in the riots. Sunak responded by saying that the UK government’s position has always been clear and hasn’t changed. “Of course, we don’t tolerate persecution where it appears anywhere,” he said. Sunak further added that he isn’t sure if he agrees with the “characterization that the honourable gentleman has been put forward to.”
Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi took a strong stance on the subject at a weekly briefing in New Delhi, and said that the documentary is a “propaganda piece” which was designed to highlight a “discredited narrative”, reported The Indian Express. Bagchi further added that the documentary puts a question mark on the agenda behind it.
Bagchi also called out UK Secretary Jack Straw for his remarks in the docu-series. “He (Jack Straw) seems to be referring to some internal UK report. How do I have access to that? It’s a 20-year-old report. Why would we jump on it now? Just because Jack says it how do they lend it that much legitimacy,” Bagchi said.
PM Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2002 when the communal riots had erupted.