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MEA denies President's visit under threat, refuses to comment on Bofors scam

In an interview to Nyheter, the President had reportedly said that Bofors scam was a media trial that could not be proven in any Indian court.

News18

Updated:May 28, 2015, 4:17 PM IST
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MEA denies President's visit under threat, refuses to comment on Bofors scam
In an interview to Nyheter, the President had reportedly said that Bofors scam was a media trial that could not be proven in any Indian court.
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New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday denied the Swedish Daily claims of a threat to cancel President Pranab Mukherjee's trip.

"This subject is not relevant to the visit of the President of India to Sweden. Let us just focus on the visit," MEA said.

India on Wednesday objected to the manner in which Mukherjee's interview was presented by the Swedish daily Daygens Nyheter office.

In an interview to Nyheter, the President had reportedly said that Bofors scam was a media trial that could not be proven in any Indian court.

But more than a day after the interview was carried by the newspaper, India accused the national daily for misrepresenting Mukhrejee's comments. The President's office said that instead of highlighting the importance of the visit, the interview chose to divert the attention to other issues.

"Instead of highlighting the importance of first ever presidential visit from the world's largest and fastest growing democracy to Sweden, you have chosen to divert attention to other issues in a patronizing and flippant manner. Unethical to include an off the record correction about a slip of the tongue," the statement from the President's office said.

Replying to the rebuttal by India, Nyheter said, "It is surprising that someone representing the world's largest democracy is trying to micromanage which questions we should ask a head of state, and which answers should be published. We have conducted the interview in the same manner as we do whenever we interview other heads of state and government."

Journalist Chitra Subramaniam who broke the news of the Bofors scandal expressed shock over the President calling the scam a 'media trial'.

"I find it very shocking and ridiculous that the President called it a media trial because of the office he holds and the type of person he is, he is a remarkable politician. It was not a media trial," Subramaniam said.

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