New Delhi: India on Thursday took exception to the remarks by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong referring to criminal charges on Indian lawmakers, people familiar with the development said.

It is learnt that the issue was raised with the Singaporean High Commissioner at the Ministry of External Affairs.

“The remarks by the prime minister of Singapore were uncalled for. We are taking up the matter with the Singaporean side,” said one of the people cited above.

The Singapore PM had invoked Jawaharlal Nehru while highlighting how democracy should work in the city-state during a debate in Parliament.

“Many political systems today would be quite unrecognisable to their founding leaders. Ben-Gurion’s Israel has morphed into one which can barely form a government, despite four general elections in two years. Meanwhile, a stream of senior politicians and officials in Israel face a litany of criminal charges, some have gone to jail.

“While Nehru’s India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder. Though it is also said that many of these allegations are politically motivated,” Lee said.

The 70-year-old prime minister said each succeeding generation must protect and build upon the system that Singapore has inherited.

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