Indian minister canceling meeting with U.S. lawmakers in 2019 shared as recent news

By: Soham Shah
June 26 2023

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Indian minister canceling meeting with U.S. lawmakers in 2019 shared as recent news


The Verdict Misleading

The incident is not recent and occurred in December 2019 when S. Jaishankar refused to meet a delegation for their refusal to exclude a Congresswoman.

Claim ID 6b1e87f1


A tweet claiming that Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently canceled a meeting with U.S. lawmakers due to the presence of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has gone viral on Twitter. The tweet came at a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in the United States for his first State visit. The caption of the tweet— posted by one Ashutosh J. Dubey (@AdvAshutoshBJP)— read: “BREAKING: S Jaishankar canceled his meeting with a group of US lawmakers following their refusal to exclude anti-India Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal from the delegation that was scheduled to meet him.” The tweet was viewed more than 946,000 times and was liked by over 28,000 Twitter accounts. A portal called ‘News Riveting,’ also published a report on June 22, 2023, about the alleged cancellation of the purported meeting. However, the claims made in the report and the viral tweet are based on information from 2019. 

In Fact

It was in 2019 that Jaishankar had canceled a meeting with senior U.S. lawmakers for their refusal to remove Indian-origin Rep. Pramila Jayapal from the delegation. The matter was widely reported in the Indian and the U.S. press at the time. 

On December 19, 2019, Washington Post had reported that Jaishankar had pulled out of a meeting with the Committee on Foreign Affairs for its refusal to exclude Jayapal, who had submitted a resolution on Kashmir. The report was published with the headline, “Top Indian official abruptly cancels meeting with congressional leaders over Kashmir criticisms.” The delegation included ​​Rep. Eliot L. Engel and Rep. Michael McCaul, among others.

Jaishankar later addressed the media and explained why he had chosen to cancel the meeting with Jayapal and others. India Today reported that Jaishankar told news agency ANI, "Don't think it [report] is a fair understanding of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir or fair characterisation of what the Government of India is doing. I have no interest in meeting her." 

On December 6, 2019, Jayapal had introduced a Congressional resolution titled, “Urging the Republic of India to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents.” The resolution, co-sponsored by Republican Congressman Steve Watkins, was submitted four months after the abrogation of Article 370. 

Jayapal had condemned Jaishankar’s decision in a tweet on December 20, 2019. “The cancellation of this meeting was deeply disturbing. It only furthers the idea that the Indian government isn’t willing to listen to any dissent at all,” the tweet read. Jaishankar’s decision not to meet Jayapal was also then criticized by Kamala Harris, who later went on to become the U.S. Vice President. 

The Verdict

Clearly, the viral tweet and articles claiming Jaishankar refused to meet a delegation of senior members of the U.S. Congress is based on an event from 2019. Therefore, we mark the claim as misleading.

(Correction: An earlier version erroneously mentioned that the external affairs minister did not accompany Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the U.S. on his first State visit. The fact-check has now been amended.)

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