‘They think they are political players in our election’: Jaishankar slams western press – again

The external affairs minister was speaking at a Hyderabad event.

WrittenBy:NL Team
S Jaishankar

Taking a dig at the western press yet again, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said yesterday that they criticise “not because they lack information, but because they think they are also political players” in the country’s election.  

Jaishankar was speaking at a forum in Hyderabad, ANI reported. “I get a lot of noises from the western press. If they criticise our democracy, it's not because they lack information, it is because they think they are also political players in our election.”

The minister slammed a report on the boiling temperature in India that may dissuade voter turnout, calling it “games” and “attack”. Using the same premise, he also dismissed any forthcoming criticism of the Election Commission of India, election voting machines, and the election system. 

“I read that article and I wanted to say, in that heat my lowest turnout is higher than your highest turnout in the best record. These are the games that are being played with us...global politics which feels they must now intrude in India. So they actually think they are part of our electorate. It's time today that we disabuse them,” Jaishankar said, adding that questions will also be raised on EVMs and the election commission. 

He also vaguely mentioned “ranking” along with “criticism”. Last month, Sweden-based Varieties of Democracy Institute labelled India as one of the “worst autocratisers” and an “electoral autocracy” in its report.

It is worth noting that activists have expressed concerns over EVMs and the election commission has been subjected to wide criticism over its inaction against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent anti-Muslim statement at a political rally in Rajasthan, which the opposition alleged was “hate speech” and a violation of the model code of conduct.   

Newslaundry also wrote on how Modi’s anti-Muslim barbs always fly before polls. Read here.

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article image668 hate speech events held in India in 2023, most of them in BJP states: Study
article imageSurrogate ads, voter surveillance, hate speech online: Civil society groups write to EC ahead of polls

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