The Freedom House report which downgraded India's status to "partly free" is misleading, incorrect and misplaced, the centre said in a statement on Friday. Titled 'Democracy Under Siege', the report was compiled by US-based democracy watchdog Freedom House.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said many states in India are ruled by parties other than the one at the national level which shows India's federal structure. It went on to add that the parties are voted to power through an election process that is free and fair and conducted by an independent election body.
Responding to allegations of crackdown on dissent in the Freedom House report, the I&B Ministry said the Indian Constitution provides for freedom of expression under Article 19. Discussion, debate and dissent are part of Indian democracy, the Centre added.
Rebutting a claim in the report that suggested discriminatory policies against Muslims in the context of the North East Delhi riots, the Centre said it treats all its citizens with equality as enshrined under the Constitution.