Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has left India after his visit to India’s capital extended by two days after his aircraft witnessed a technical problem. He was scheduled to leave on Sunday after the conclusion of the G20 summit but due to a mechanical snag in his aircraft he had to stay in New Delhi for two extra days.
Opposition parties in Canada and some social media users criticized the delay.
Canada’s relations with India have witnessed tensions in last few months which was apparent in Trudeau’s meeting with social media users.
According to Indian news outlet India Today on Tuesday, Trudeau’s visit “did nothing to mend the frosty ties that he has developed with India”.
Days before his flight to Delhi, Trudeau abruptly announced that his nation was postponing negotiations on a trade agreement between the two nations.
Large-scale Sikh protests in Canada have been a major source of tension. India is worried about the Sikh separatists’ actions, although it denies any involvement in the June murder of a leading proponent of Sikh independence in British Columbia.
According to his office, Modi expressed worries about the “continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada” at his meeting with Trudeau on Sunday. He said that they were encouraging secessionism and inciting violence.
The Canadian prime minister had “raised the importance of respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty,” according to Trudeau’s office.
Later, at a press conference, Trudeau said that he and Modi had also spoken about foreign meddling in Canadian affairs. Canada is looking into China, Russia, and India as part of a broad inquiry into electoral meddling.
Concerns were raised when the Indian President Droupadi Murmu invited foreign leaders to a meal over the weekend; according to sources, the Canadian prime minister chose not to go. His administration reportedly provided no explanation. Some observers also said he was hasty to reject shaking hands with Modi.
It’s unknown what he’s been doing the past two days. According to media sources, he is believed to have spent the time in his hotel as he had no other official obligations.
Neither Trudeau nor the Indian government have made any public remarks regarding the hold-up in his departure from India.
But an Indian minister showed up there to officially bid him farewell and wish him and his party “a safe trip back home” on behalf of Modi’s administration.
The BBC was informed on Monday by Canada’s Department of National Defence that Trudeau’s aircraft, an RCAF CC-150 Polaris with tail number “01,” had a “maintenance problem” caused by a “component that will have to be replaced.”
It added, “The safety of all passengers is critical to the RCAF and pre-flight safety checks are a regular part of all our flight protocols. The discovery of this issue is evidence that these protocols are effective.”
A new plane, according to the defence department, was being headed to India to pick up Trudeau.
The RCAF deployed a technician to India, according to The Toronto Star, who was able to resolve the problem. The CC-150 Polaris plane is a component of an older fleet that has frequently encountered problems and is scheduled to be replaced, it was added. It’s not the first time Trudeau has experienced problems while travelling by plane.
In 2019, the wing of a jet rented to take him on the campaign trail crashed with a plane carrying journalists. He wasn’t travelling in the plane at the time.