Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Financial Times changes tune after Exit Polls show massive NDA victory: After promoting opposition leaders, now showers praise on India and PM Modi- Read about their U-turn

The peculiar change in stance by the FT seems to strengthen PM Modi’s assertion that the intensity of these (election interference) efforts will come down post-election results.

After taking an acute partisan stance against the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the foreign supporters and abettors of the Opposition I.N.D.I. Alliance have seemingly started to accept the writing on the wall. In an apparent display of a ‘recalibrated’ strategy, the UK-based Financial Times recently published an article to assert that Narendra Modi is well poised to return with a strong mandate to form the next government, citing exit poll forecasts. 

The article titled ‘Exit polls forecast decisive majority for Narendra Modi in India’s election’, acknowledges that if the result predictions hold true, Modi’s victory will establish him as “one of the world’s strongest leaders” who is “at the helm of a fast-growing economy.” 

Similar to other foreign media outlets, the Financial Times has been notorious for running smear campaigns against India and stereotypically projecting India as a ‘third-world country of abject poor, uncivilised savages’. However, the latest article strikingly notes that Modi’s re-election comes “at a time when India’s geopolitical clout is growing”, alluding to the success of the Modi government in the foreign policy domain.

(Financial Times along with other Western media outlets rallied against the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party prior to and during the Lok Sabha elections 2024)

The article states, “Narendra Modi is poised to secure a third five-year term as India’s prime minister this week after exit polls projected a clear election victory for his Bharatiya Janata Party and its smaller allies.” 

The article cites predictions from several exit polls, which unanimously indicate that the BJP-led NDA is poised to win a comfortable majority with seats ranging between 353 and 401 in the 543-seat Lok Sabha. Notably, shortly after the seventh and final voting phase concluded on June 1st, ten exit polls predicted that the BJP-led NDA would secure over 350 seats, while three forecasted an even stronger mandate with the ruling alliance gaining over 400 seats. All the exit polls predict that the opposition alliance will secure fewer than 200 seats.

(Image Credit – OpIndia)

Further in the article, FT notes, “That (exit poll forecasts) leaves Modi with a strong mandate to form the next government, taking him into a second decade as prime minister.” 

‘The opportunistic INDI Alliance failed to strike a chord with voters,’ FT cited PM Modi’s post on X, made on Saturday evening after the Lok Sabha elections concluded.

The UK-based outlet highlighted that PM Modi’s resounding victory will positively impact the financial sector, especially for share market analysts and investors. This underscores the fact that the market, investors, and economic stakeholders view PM Modi’s economic policies favourably and express confidence in the continuity and stability of the government. FT added, “Market analysts, in the meantime, anticipate a surge in Indian equities on Monday, buoyed by the anticipated decisive win for Modi.”

It is pertinent to note that in the backdrop of stellar GDP figures and exit polls instilling confidence and exuberance in investors, they added a whopping Rs 12 lakh crore to the Sensex after the market opened on Monday. At 12:35 PM, the Sensex registered a surge of 3.13%, or 2,313.25 points, standing at 76,246 points. Similarly, the Nifty jumped by 3.08%, or 693.20 points, reaching the 23,223.90 level. 

FT further stated, “The results give the first indications of the shape of India’s next parliament after an election that many saw as a referendum on Modi’s decade in power.” 

Incidentally, the Financial Times was unabashedly spearheading hit jobs against the incumbent Modi government prior to and during the elections, particularly regarding the allegations that India under Modi has been carrying out “extra-judicial killings” of “dissenters/activists” (a term they used for Khalistani/Islamist terrorists killed in mysterious circumstances on foreign soil), and published canards linking Indian government with the murder or attempted assassination of Khalistani terrorists like Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Sikh for Justice’s Gurpatwant Pannun. 

(Along with other foreign media outlets, Financial Times have spearheaded campaign against the Modi government over the issue of mysterious deaths of terrorist elements outside India)

However, the FT in its latest article acknowledged India’s growth and rising global stature under the leadership of PM Modi. It noted, “If the polls’ predictions are confirmed on Tuesday when official results are reported, the victory will bolster Modi’s image as one of the world’s strongest leaders at the helm of a fast-growing economy, at a time when its geopolitical clout is growing.” 

Further in the article, FT mentioned that exit polls in the past have gone wrong, but noted that in recent years, they have been proving to be a more reliable indicator of voters’ decisions. 

FT, notorious for its cynical reports peddling baseless tropes against the Modi government, also highlighted several major achievements of the Modi government. Notably, pollsters believe these achievements have helped the BJP attain an unassailable advantage over its rivals. 

The FT lauded the achievements of the Modi government stating, “India’s 73-year-old leader campaigned on the slogan of ‘Modi’s guarantee’, a reference to government welfare programmes that benefit hundreds of millions of Indians, and his record on reducing poverty and developing the world’s fifth-biggest economy. India’s GDP grew at a better than expected rate of 7.8 percent quarter on quarter in the three months to March, and its economy has been one of the world’s fastest-growing since the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

Strikingly, the Financial Times had earlier echoed the opposition’s rhetoric and often gave fodder for their unsubstantiated allegations to corner the Modi government. Supporting the opposition’s cause, it had earlier extensively tried to paint an autocratic image of PM Modi charging him of “stifling dissent, jailing key opposition leaders” and taking India on the road to dictatorship, etc.  

However, in the latest article, the Financial Times refrained from amplifying the opposition’s rhetoric. It only mildly referenced the opposition’s allegations against the Modi government during the election campaign and their claim of ‘forming a government with 295+ seats on June 4th.’ 

The Financial Times, which batted for the opposition alliance and dismissed India’s objections to “foreign interference” in its election and narrative setting, published an article on May 24th that hyped Arvind Kejriwal, the liquor policy scam accused, to influence public perception a day before Delhi went to the polls on May 25th.

Even in the latest report, FT sounded sympathetic to the jailed AAP leader as it included the version of his supporters. It deliberately omitted the details revealed by the probing agencies in its chargesheet in the case and failed to include several scathing remarks from various courts in the case which has severely dented the image of the “Kattar Imandar Party” and its Chief.  

FT cited Kejriwal’s remarks made on Sunday (2nd June) when he surrendered before the Tihar jail authorities and returned to jail. It stated, “On Sunday, Kejriwal, before returning to jail in a corruption case his supporters claim is politically motivated, asked his Aam Aadmi party colleagues to be vigilant on counting day to prevent any manipulation of voting machines. ‘All exit polls are fake,’ he said. ‘Don’t be depressed or discouraged.’” 

Earlier this month, the Financial Times targeted Adani for an alleged ‘coal scam,’ which was soon picked up by senior Congress leader and former president Rahul Gandhi to attack the Modi government. In an attempt to corner the Modi government, Gandhi referenced the Financial Times report, which accused the Adani Group of selling low-grade coal as high-value fuel. However, it later emerged that the transaction took place during the UPA era, undermining Rahul Gandhi’s attempt to target the Modi government and casting his own party’s previous government in a negative light by leveling corruption allegations against them.

Incidentally, in an interview with Hindi broadcaster Times Now Navbharat, PM Modi acknowledged that there are active attempts to interfere with India’s elections from abroad. Regarding this, PM Modi had said, “Many in the world are trying to influence the election, which they shouldn’t be doing… They are not merely making comments or remarks, but trying to influence the election.” 

However, PM Modi asserted, “They won’t have the guts to say anything after 4 June. They would witness the power of India, its democracy, and its voters on 4 June.” 

Notably, the peculiar change in stance by the FT seems to strengthen PM Modi’s assertion that the intensity of these (election interference) efforts will come down post-election results. After sensing BJP’s return to power, OpenAI had recently pointed out that influence operations were using its tools to run anti-BJP and pro-Congress campaigns on social media during the Lok Sabha elections 2024. It added that it has shut down five such covert operations. The foreign actors, which rely on a subscription model, played an active role against the incumbent Modi government and have now seemingly ‘recalibrated’ their strategy to cater to one of the largest English-speaking countries outside the Anglosphere.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Paurush Gupta
Paurush Gupta
Proud Bhartiya, Hindu, Karma believer. Accidental Journalist who loves to read and write. Keen observer of National Politics and Geopolitics. Cinephile.

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