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Modi losing popularity, playing ‘China card’ to win Lok Sabha election: Chinese media

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Beijing, March 26: The general elections in India are not too far away and China's state-run Global Times has said in an op-ed on Monday, March 25, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is playing the China card to win the upcoming election.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In the piece, Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said the twin incidents of India's escalating tension with Pakistan in the wake of the terror attack on its paramilitary forces in Pulwama and New Delhi's quest in making the international community announce Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist showed that PM Modi and his BJP were eyeing to make the soar relations with Pakistan as one of their main poll planks.

It said such an effort has been undertaken to "shore up" Modi's popularity and "lure" voters.

"Bilateral problems are generally not used as election issues in India or other countries, unless tensions boil over leading to a war," the piece said.

Narendra Modi to address rally in Jammu on March 28

It also said that though India and China have their share of issues but their relations are far from leading to a major crisis. It added that China has nothing to do with the Lok Sabha elections but accused Modi of playing the "China card" to divert the voters' mind.

It also said that the BJP was once confident of winning the polls but various factors like low employment rate and unfulfilled poll promises have left the people upset, making the "China card" relevant in the election. It said the ploy would work to some extent in India's northern parts for the region is underdeveloped and people living in such areas harbour strong nationalist sentiments.

It also said that Modi's popularity has declined and to make up more that, he is also playing up the standoff with Pakistan besides using the China card.

Why doesn't BJP play China card in South India, asks Chinese op-ed

"Why didn't the BJP play the "China card" in southern India, which is more developed and prosperous? The people there wouldn't buy it as the general elections are about domestic politics. Anyone who has a relatively clear perception of the international situation can easily see through Modi's intention of raking up the China issue in election rallies to gain popularity when he cannot figure a better way out of his domestic predicament," the op-ed added.

It ended up saying that if Modi wins the upcoming election, he will handle his China policy rationally.

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