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India denies influencing SL leaders amid Prez poll

"We categorically deny these media reports as completely false. They are clearly a figment of someone’s imagination.

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Colombo: India on Wednesday rejected reports “baseless” and “purely speculative” reports that it influenced Sri Lanka political leaders on the elections of the Sri Lankan President.

In a series of tweets, the Indian High Commission said, “We have seen baseless and purely speculative media reports about efforts at a political level from India to influence political leaders in Sri Lanka regarding elections in the Sri Lankan Parliament to the post of the President of Sri Lanka.

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“We categorically deny these media reports as completely false. They are clearly a figment of someone’s imagination.

“It is reiterated that India supports the realization of aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka in accordance with democratic means and values, established institutions as well as constitutional provisions, and doesn’t interfere in internal affairs and democratic processes of another country.”

On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan MPs voted to elect the eighth President of the country to succeed Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the island nation following a mass revolt after the national economy collapsed.

G G Ponnambalam and Selvarajah Kajendram, both Tamils, didn’t cast their vote. On behalf of the three candidates, MPs Harin Fernando, Dilan Perera, and Vijitha Herath observed the counting which began shortly after the voting concluded.

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