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UK won’t ‘shy away’ from asking tough questions on human rights to India: Johnson

He also said India has Constitutional protection for all communities, and lauded the Indian democracy of over 1.35 billion people.

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New Delhi: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said the UK will not shy away from asking India “tough questions” on human rights in a “friendly and private way”.

He also said India has Constitutional protection for all communities, and lauded the Indian democracy of over 1.35 billion people.

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At a press conference after meeting his Indian counterpart, the UK PM was asked about allegations by human rights groups’ that the Indian PM is “presiding over a culture of growing Hindu nationalism and democratic backsliding”.

“On our relations with India and how we deal with questions of human rights or democratic values… of course, we have these conversations but the advantage of our friendships is we can have them, and we can have them in a friendly and private way,” Johnson said in reply to a question.

He said India has Constitutional protections for all communities. “It is very important to realise India has Constitutional protection of communities. They are part of its Constitution, India is a very, very different country from autocracies around the world, it is a great great democracy and that’s why, it is a stunning shining fact. 1.35 billion people who live under democracy and that is what we should celebrate,” he said.

Johnson, however added, “that doesn’t mean I am not going to raise tough questions as I have today, of course, we do that we do that as friends.” Johnson is on a two-day visit to India on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two sides reviewed progress on the ambitious India-UK Roadmap to 2030, and resolved to advance the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreed last year.

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