Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday responded to the TIME magazine cover calling him "India's Divider In Chief" and asking whether India can endure five more years of his government.
"Time magazine is foreign, the writer has also said he comes from a Pakistani political family. That is enough for his credibility," PM Modi said on Friday.
The cover story was by Aatish Taseer, who wrote "The world's biggest democracy is more divided than ever" and referred to mob lynchings, the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister and the BJP's decision to field Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur.
At the same time, the article also criticised the opposition, saying the Congress had "little to offer than the dynastic principle" and describes Rahul Gandhi as "an unteachable mediocrity".
In the same issue, TIME also had another story on PM Modi, titled "Modi Is India's Best Hope for Economic Reform."
An earlier cover of TIME in 2015 was titled "Why Modi Matters".
In the middle of the national election campaign, the TIME cover was seized by opposition parties as a searing critique of PM Modi.
The ruling BJP had termed the TIME article as an attempt to malign PM Modi's image and had accused author Aatish Taseer, the son of journalist Tavleen Singh and late Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer, of pursuing Pakistan's agenda.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had said that the author is a Pakistani and that "nothing better can be expected from Pakistan".
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