NEW DELHI: The BJP has described a Time magazine article, which called Prime Minister Narendra Modi "India's divider-in-chief", as an attempt to malign his image, accusing its author of pursuing Pakistan's agenda. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told a press conference that article's author was a Pakistani and that nothing better can be expected from Pakistan.
He also took a swipe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for re-tweeting the story.
The piece, which is a sharp criticism of PM Modi's leadership, has been written by Aatish Taseer, son of Indian journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer.
Patra said several foreign magazines had written stories critical of PM Modi in 2014 as well.
Calling the Prime Minister a unifier, the BJP spokesperson listed a number of welfare measures started by the Modi government to claim that the country was heading towards a new India under his "reforming, performing and transforming" agenda.
Patra also slammed Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his barbs at Modi, accusing Sidhu of making racist and sexist remarks.
Taking a swipe at Sidhu, Patra said he keeps making all sort of loose statements but has not spoken a word against Congress leader Sam Pitroda's "so what" remarks on 1984 anti-sikh riots.
Pitroda, a close aide of Gandhi and Overseas Congress' head, on Thursday said, 'hua to hua' (So what, it happened) about the anti-Sikh riots. He made this remark in response to a question on the riots by a newsman in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.
Patra claimed Sidhu was targetting Modi at the behest of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath who, he alleged was also involved in the riots.
Sidhu at a poll rally had asked people to defeat "kale angrez", in an apparent attempt to liken the Modi government to the British rule before independence.
The Congress leader had also claimed that PM Modi was like a bride who makes noise from her bangles to give an impression that she was working hard but did not really work.
Patra said these remarks showed the Congress' mindset.
In a swipe at the opposition party over the Italian origin of its former president Sonia Gandhi, he said the Congress should not be very arrogant about its Italian colour as this will disappear on May 23, when Lok Sabha poll results will be out.
The TIME magazine has featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the cover of its international edition with a controversial headline and a secondary one that reads "Modi the Reformer" as the country enters the final phase of the mammoth general election.
The American magazine's May 20, 2019 international editions - the Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia and South Pacific - feature the Modi cover story with the main headline "India's Divider in Chief" while the US edition has a cover story on Democrat Elizabeth Warren who is running for the White House in 2020.
The article also said the opposition Congress party had little to offer other than the dynastic principle.