Why has Canada named India along with China, Russia in interfering with its elections?

Denying the allegations vehemently, India termed them 'absurd and motivated', leading to a diplomatic rift and reciprocal withdrawal of top envoys.

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Courtesy: X/Diclosetv

New Delhi: Amidst escalating tensions between Canada and India, a public inquiry has been initiated by the Canadian government to investigate allegations of Indian interference in the country's 2019 and 2021 elections. The inquiry, set up in the wake of leaked intelligence documents implicating China in electoral meddling, marks the first instance of India facing such accusations in Canadian politics, alongside China and Russia.

Canadian probe into alleged foreign interference

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration established the inquiry commission last year to conduct a thorough public investigation following revelations of Chinese meddling in Canadian electoral processes. The inquiry, led by Quebec Judge Marie-Josee Hogue, aims to scrutinize attempts of foreign interference by China, Russia and now, India.

The commission's scope encompasses soliciting information from the Canadian government regarding purported Indian meddling in the 2019 and 2021 elections. It seeks to evaluate the government's response, assess its capacity to counter foreign interference, and propose recommendations in light of these developments.

Growing strain in Canada-India relations

The latest allegations against India add strain to its diplomatic relations with Canada, already frayed by prior incidents. Tensions peaked when Prime Minister Trudeau publicly accused New Delhi of involvement in the assassination of a Sikh national, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, within Canadian borders. Denying the allegations vehemently, India termed them 'absurd and motivated', leading to a diplomatic rift and reciprocal withdrawal of top envoys.

In retaliation, India temporarily suspended visas for Canadians, while Canada, citing housing shortages and economic concerns, imposed a two-year cap on new international student permits. The rift deepened with US prosecutors later accusing two Indian government agents of orchestrating a failed assassination attempt of a Sikh separatist leader in New York.

Anticipated inquiry outcomes

The inquiry commission is expected to furnish an interim report by May 3 and a final report by December 31, shedding light on the extent of foreign interference and proposing measures to safeguard Canadian sovereignty. As accusations and denials reverberate across international borders, the inquiry seeks to unravel the complexities of global power dynamics influencing Canadian democracy.

Canada-India Relations, Election Meddling, Foreign Interference, Inquiry Commission, Diplomatic Tensions, Sikh National Assassination, International Diplomacy