A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was reprimanded by EAM S Jaishankar and the Singapore government for peddling unverified information about a new variant of Covid-19, AAP social media member was seen rejoicing about the idea of angering a friendly nation.
On Thursday (May 20), Deep Prakash Pant claimed, “The stature of Arvind Kejriwal has increased so much that even neighbouring nations are shaken by his tweets.” He paid no heed to the fact that the Delhi CM’s misleading tweet had the potential to sour diplomatic relations between India and Singapore.
“Even the Singapore Education Minister had warned about the same earlier and closed down schools,” he alleged. Pant, who boasts of 12.3K followers and is a member of the AAP National social media team, further reiterated the lies peddled by Arvind Kejriwal about a ‘Singapore Covid-19 variant.’
How Arvind Kejriwal nearly hijacked bilateral ties between India and Singapore?
On Tuesday (May 18), Arvind Kejriwal claimed on Twitter that a new variant of Covid-19 was found in Singapore, which could result in India’s third wave. Resorting to unnecessary fear-mongering, the Delhi Chief Minister put out unverified information to claim that the new variant was extremely dangerous for children. He had also urged PM Modi to immediately halt air services with Singapore and prioritize vaccination drive for children.
The Singapore government refuted all the claims made by Arvind Kejriwal and stressed that no new coronavirus strain had been detected in the city-state. Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri also fact-checked his claims. The minister reminded him that there were no commercial flights between India and Singapore and there was no ‘air-bubble’ operation either. The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs revealed that the Singapore government had called the High Commission raising a strong objection to Kejriwal’s statement.
MEA had made it clear that Kejriwal has no authority to either pronounce Covid variants or decide India’s civil aviation policy. Union Minister Dr. S Jaishankar too responded sternly to Kejriwal’s unverifiable claims. Singapore High Commissioner to India Simon Wong said that the false statements by Arvind Kejriwal would invite actions under Protection from Online Falsehoods & Manipulation Act (POFMA), an act intended to mitigate misinformation in the country. However, he added that they were satisfied with the government of India’s clarification. The social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and HardwareZone.com were instructed by the Singapore government to carry a Correction Notice for all the end-users of these platforms in Singapore.