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India questions NYT editorial on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-03-2017 Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: India on Friday reacted sharply to an editorial in The New York Times criticizing the choice of Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said the paper’s wisdom in writing such a piece was “questionable”.

“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,” Baglay said.

The New York Times’ editorial titled “Modi’s Perilous Embrace of Hindu Extremists”, dated Thursday and available online, said that since Modi’s election in 2014, he had played a “cagey game, appeasing his party’s hard-line Hindu base while promoting secular goals of development and economic growth.”

The move by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to name “firebrand Hindu cleric” Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister over the last weekend was a “shocking rebuke” to religious minorities, the editorial said.

The BJP won 325 of the 403 seats in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly in the recently held polls. Modi was the star campaigner for the party seeking votes mainly on a pro-development plank.

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