India has reportedly asked Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter to withdraw President Pranab Mukherjee’s remarks made on the Bofors case.
The Swedish daily had published President’s remarks made during an interview to its editor-in-chief Peter Wolodarski, in which Mukherjee reportedly stated that the Bofors scandal had not been proved in any Indian court and that the case had just been a media trial.
Dagens Nyheter claimed that Indian envoy to Sweden and Latvia Banashri Bose Harrison has written a letter to it asking the paper to delete the reference made to Bofors case.
The Swedish daily said the Indian envoy even warned that the controversy over President’s remarks could even affect his state visit later this week.
Mukherjee is leaving for Sweden on May 31 for a state visit. He was invited by the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf.
In the letter dated May 25, 2015, Bose reportedly said that the newspaper failed to show the President the “courtesy and respect” that he deserves as the head of state.
“It was both unprofessional and unethical on your part to include in the report an off the record correction made by the President after the interview had ended, about a slip of the tongue during the interview.”
The newspaper has, however, defended the publication of President’s remarks.
“In a telephone conversation with DN (Dangens Nyheter) prior to the publication of the article the Ambassador made a direct request that DN was to retract sections of the interview mentioning Bofors. She also warned that the planned state visit was at risk of being cancelled,” Dangens Nyheter said in a report published on its website.
The report further quotes Wolodarski as telling the Indian ambassador “…that we couldn’t accept her demands. The President became engaged and was upset when Bofors was mentioned during a question regarding how we can avoid corruption today. Of course we had to tell our readers about his reaction”.