With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rattled after its defeat in the five state elections in December 2018 and polls predicting that NDA will fall short of the majority mark in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received advice from an unlikely source.
An op-ed piece in China’s state-run Global Times said, “If the BJP wants to win the 2019 election, the priority should be to win people’s hearts and improve their livelihoods, not visiting a disputed region and hyping nationalism.”
Global Times is run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.
While protesting against the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the piece went on to say that “nationalism has been rising in India and the country’s current conditions are unfavorable for Modi’s re-election.”
After the defeat in the five-state elections, it says that Modi has understood that his party is not invincible.
In what seems like a warning to Modi, the piece further said that if “Modi wants to solicit votes by hyping up nationalism, he will not only hinder India’s political and economic development but also harm China-India relations.”
China had strongly objected to Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying saying, “China’s position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut. The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader’s visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary.”
India asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is its “integral and inalienable” part after China’s opposition. The Ministry of External Affairs said India has conveyed its “consistent position” on the issue to China on several occasions.
(With PTI inputs)