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Jaishankar Criticises Western Media Over Coverage Of LS Elections

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has criticised the Western media for its "negative" portrayal of Indian elections, suggesting that countries accustomed to legal challenges in determining election outcomes should not offer advice on conducting polls, The Hindustan Times reported.

Speaking at the launch of the Bangla edition of his book 'Why Bharat Matters' in Kolkata, Jaishankar expressed his views on Western countries' perceptions of India and its elections. He remarked that Western nations believe they have influenced the world for the past 200 years and find it challenging to change their "old habits."

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"They (Western countries) do want to influence us because many of these countries feel that they have influenced this world for the last 70-80 years...Western countries actually feel that they influenced the world for the last 200 years. How do you expect someone who has been in that position to give up those old habits so easily," Jaishankar stated.

Jaishankar also accused the Western media of wanting a specific "class of people" to rule India and becoming "disturbed" when the Indian electorate does not align with their preferences.

"Why are these newspapers so negative on India? Because they see an India that is not in a sense compliant with their image of how India should be. They want people, ideology, or a way of life...they want that class of people to rule this country, and they are disturbed when the Indian population feels otherwise," Jaishankar remarked.

He further criticized the Western media for allegedly endorsing candidates and political parties, stating, "The Western media, in some cases, have openly endorsed candidates and political parties, they don't hide their preference."

Regarding the US warning of "potential risk of sanctions" after India signed a 10-year agreement for running the Chabahar Port in Iran, Jaishankar emphasized the project's regional benefits and urged people not to take a "narrow view" of it.

"I did see some of the remarks which were made, but I think it's a question of communicating, convincing and getting people to understand, that this is actually for everyone's benefit. I don't think people should take a narrow view of it," Jaishankar stated.

He also highlighted the US' past appreciation of the larger relevance of Chabahar, stating, "They (US) have not done so in the past. So, if you look at the US' own attitude towards the port in Chabahar, the US has been appreciative of the fact that Chabahar has a larger relevance...we will work at it."

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