Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed the editorial policy of the Washington Post, calling it “biased and agenda-driven”. Vijay Chauthaiwale, chief of the BJP’s foreign affairs department, said on Friday there was “a lot of problem” with the newspaper’s coverage of India, but did not give any specific examples. The swipe at the Post, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, came a day after an Indian cabinet minister gave short shrift to Amazon’s plans to create a million jobs in the country by 2025.
Bezos has praised India during his ongoing visit, saying the 21st century will be the Indian century and that the dynamism and energy in the country was “something special”. “I am not opposing Amazon as a company. In fact, I am a regular customer … Jeff Bezos should go home tell Washington Post what is his impression about India,” Chauthaiwale told Reuters news agency.”The Washington Post editorial policy is highly biased and agenda-driven.” The Washington Post’s India bureau chief, Joanna Slater, referred a Reuters request for comment to the newspaper’s spokespersons in Washington, who did not immediately respond outside regular business hours. Amazon too did not respond to an email seeking comment on Chauthaiwale’s remarks.
Chauthaiwale has in the past been critical of foreign media’s reporting on political issues, including on the disputed region of Indian-administered Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, saying the coverage has been biased against Modi. The Washington Post has in the past been attacked by Saudi Arabia for its coverage in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that caused a global outcry. Months after Khashoggi murder, Amazon chief’s private messages and photos were leaked to a tabloid. An investigation later revealed that Bezos’s phone was hacked at the behest of Riyadh.