The editorial mentioned Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest as a ‘stark example’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Financial Times editorial’s headline. |Prachi Dureja

By NL Team

Citing “intensifying clampdown” on opposition parties and its implications for the Lok Sabha polls, an editorial  in Financial Times yesterday warned that all is not well in India. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may call India the “mother of democracy”, the editorial said, but the country’s democracy is in “ill health”. 

It criticised “the rule of Modi’s BJP” and the “squeeze on free expression and opposition”, particularly in the party’s second consecutive term in power. 

“Harassment, often by tax or legal authorities, has become common for government critics, be they independent media, academics, thank-tanks or civil society groups. The BJP’s muscular Hindu nationalism has eroded India’s tradition of secular democracy.”

Financial Times also warned of a “sharp step-up in state enforcement agencies apparently being used to stifle opposition parties and politicians as the election approaches”. It cited the arrest of  Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal – “one of India’s most prominent opposition leaders” – as a “stark example”.  

The UK-based daily also mentioned the Congress’s allegations of its bank accounts being frozen for weeks over a tax dispute, and the party being “unable to pay for campaign workers, advertising and travel”. It added that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had a “politically-tinged two-year jail sentence for defamation overturned” by the Supreme Court.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.