External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday cautioned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against making irresponsible comments that could damage India’s long-standing partnership with countries like Singapore.
In sharp response to Kejriwal, who on Tuesday asked the Narendra Modi government not to allow flights from Singapore over concerns about a new Covid strain in the southeast Asian country, the EAM in a tweet said, “irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships.”
He also made it clear that “Delhi CM does not speak for India.”
Also on Wednesday, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan countered the Delhi Chief Minister and asserted that there is no ‘Singapore variant’.
“Politicians should stick to facts!,” said Balakrishnan in a tweet.
He thanked Jaishankar in another tweet for the clarification and said, “let’s focus on resolving the situation in our respective countries and helping one another. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”
Earlier in the day, the Singapore government called India’s High Commissioner and conveyed its “strong objection” to the Delhi chief minister’s tweet.
“Singapore Government called in our High Commissioner today to convey strong objection to Delhi CM’s tweet on “Singapore variant”.
“High Commissioner clarified that Delhi CM had no competence to pronounce on Covid variants or civil aviation policy,” tweeted MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, in a tweet, also reminded Kejriwal that international flights have been closed since March 2020.
“Kejriwal ji, international flights have been closed since March 2020. We do not even have an ‘air bubble’ arrangement with Singapore. There are only a few flights – Vande Bharat Missions – to bring back Indians stranded there. After all, these are our own people,” said Puri in a tweet on Tuesday evening.
Pointing to India’s close relation with the city-state, Jaishankar said Singapore and India have been “solid partners” in the fight against Covid-19.
“Appreciate Singapore’s role as a logistics hub and oxygen supplier. Their gesture of deploying military aircraft to help us speaks of our exceptional relationship. However, irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships. So, let me clarify- Delhi CM does not speak for India,” he said.