“Delhi CM does not speak for India”: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar assures Singapore after Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet nearly causes diplomatic crisis


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday assured his counterpart from Singapore that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal did not ‘speak for India.’ This was after Kejriwal demanded a ban on flights from Singapore in view of what he said was the detection of a new variant of coronavirus affecting children in Singapore.

S Jaishankar

Kejriwal had tweeted in Hindi, “The new variant of coronavirus in Singapore is said to be very dangerous for children. This could trigger the third wave in India. My appeal to the central government: Flight service with Singapore must immediately be banned. 2. Efforts should be made to work on vaccines for children.”

The Singapore government, according to External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, reacted angrily to Kejriwal’s tweet. Bagchi tweeted, “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.”

Quoting Bagchi’s tweet, Jaishankar wrote on the microblogging site, “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.”

He added, “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.”

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan thanked Jaishankar for the clarification as he wrote, “Thanks @DrSJaishankar let’s focus on resolving the situation in our respective countries and helping one another. Nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”