New Delhi has rejected claims of foreign interference in Canadian elections and has instead accused Ottawa of interfering in India’s internal affairs.
This comes amid an independent commission investigating claims of foreign interference in Canadian elections formally asking the Justin Trudeau government to gather and provide documents about alleged meddling by India.
“We have seen media reports about Canadian Commission enquiring into foreign interference and there have been some related developments as well. We strongly reject all such baseless allegations of Indian interference in Canadian elections,” Randhir Jaiswal, the spokesperson of India’s ministry of external affairs, said.
It is not the Indian government’s policy to interfere in the democratic processes of other countries, Jaiswal said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set up the Foreign Interference Commission in September last year to respond to concerns about foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.
Last month, the commission said it had requested the government to provide “documents relating to alleged interference by India”.
Rejecting the allegations, Jaiswal said, “In fact, quite on the reverse, it is Canada which has been interfering in our internal affairs. We have been raising this issue regularly with them.”
We continue to call on Canada to take effective measures to address our core concerns, he added.
The commission’s mandate, released last year, was to examine and assess the interference by China, Russia, and other foreign states or non-state actors in the 2019 and 2021 elections at the national and electoral district levels.
It will complete an interim report due by 3 May and deliver its final report by 31 December.
The next federal election in Canada is scheduled to take place on or before 20 October 2025.
The New Delhi-Ottawa relations reached a new low last year after Trudeau linked Indian agents to the murder of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia last year, an allegation India has rejected.