The British weekly The Economist infuriated the BJP by calling Narendra Modi “divisive” on Friday. Here is a look at how the western media have been viewing him in the run-up to the general elections.
A BJP supporter with his body painted attends a rally addressed by the party's PM candidate Narendra Modi in Lucknow. (Reuters)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has described The Economist’s report on its prime ministerial nominee as “patronising” and lacking in objectivity.
The weekly, which refers to itself as a newspaper, has taken a stand as well, saying: "… there is much to admire. Despite that, this newspaper cannot bring itself to back Mr Modi for India’s highest office."
The first reason mentioned is the 2002 riots in Gujarat under Modi’s watch as chief minister.
Read: Can anyone stop Narendra Modi?
The Guardian has come out with a piece on Modi, with focus on women’s rights in India. The headline goes: Narendra Modi as prime minister would roll back women's rights in India.
Violence during the 2002 riots figures in this article as well.
Read: Narendra Modi as prime minister would roll back women's rights in India
The BBC has chosen to start with Modi in a take on main players in the Indian elections.
The introductory paragraph goes: “Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is seen as India's most divisive politician - loved and loathed in equal measure.”
There is no escaping the 2002 riots in this one too.
The New York Times’ India Ink has a piece on the BJP strongman as well, headlined: As Narendra Modi Rises, His Grip Over His Party Tightens.
“… In an electoral campaign where Mr. Modi’s presence dwarfs that of his party, Mr. Modi is cleverly using the BJP’s overt dependence on him to eliminate and sideline all rival power camps within the party,” says the writer, drawing attention to the “purge” of senior leaders.
Modi also figured on the cover of page of the Asia edition of US magazine TIME in 2012.
Full coverage: The rise of Narendra Modi