The external affairs ministry on Friday took exception to an editorial in The New York Times, which criticised the BJP’s decision to appoint Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Referring to the article, titled ‘Modi’s Perilous Embrace of Hindu Extremists’, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said: “All editorials or opinions are subjective. This case is particularly so. The wisdom in doubting the verdicts of genuine democratic exercises – at home or abroad – is questionable.”
The use of the word ‘home’ in the spokesperson’s statement is interesting, considering that the paper is also embroiled in a pitched battle with the United States’ Donald Trump administration.
The editorial, which was highly critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claimed that he has been playing a “cagey game by appeasing his party’s hardline Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth”. The move by Modi’s party to name a “firebrand Hindu cleric” as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister is a “shocking rebuke” to religious minorities, it added.