India dismisses US Senator’s comment on its federal system

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New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) India on Thursday dismissed US Senator Ben Cardin’s statement that India’s federal system was challenging good governance, and hoped he would have developed a “better understanding and appreciation” of India after his first visit to the country.

“I understand this was the senator’s first visit to India,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at his weekly media briefing here.

“I also understand that he has had a number of meetings in Delhi, including with the Foreign Secretary (S. Jaishankar) and we hope that as a result of those meetings he has developed a better understanding and appreciation of India,” he said.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington next week, Cardin, a Democrat and a ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), on Wednesday said that good governance was challenged by India’s federalism system.

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Delivering a lecture on “Role of good governance in international relations” here, Cardin said that federalism can help a country to develop policies to deal with critical problems.

“However, the current federalism system here in India is challenging the effectiveness of national policies to combat corruption and other human rights violations,” he said.

At the same time, he praised Modi’s comments in the Wall Street Journal last week.

“He (Modi) said ‘My election in 2014 had a context. There was a sense of policy paralysis, of economic conditions and corruption. My biggest challenge is to end this environment’,” Cardin said.

During the course of his visit to India, apart from Foreign Secretary Jaishankar, Cardin also held meetings with union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Jadvekar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

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