After the Narendra Modi government cold-shouldered Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, on Friday, BJP functionaries slammed the The Washington Post for showing India in poor light Jeff Bezos visit to India.
The Senior Editor, Global Opinions at The Washington Post, Eli Lopez and Vijay Chauthaiwale, In-Charge, Foreign Affairs Dept, Bharatiya Janata Party engaged in a spat on Twitter.
BJP's Chauthaiwale wrote, "Mr @JeffBezos, please tell this to your employees in Washington DC. Otherwise your charm offensive is likely to be waste of time and money."
To which Lopez responded, "Just to clarify: Jeff Bezos doesn't tell Washington Post journalists what to write. Independent journalism is not about charming governments. But there's no question the work of our correspondents and columnists fits within India's democratic traditions."
"@elopezgross, read my tweet carefully. I never said Bezos should tell WaPo what to write. I just requested him to tell his employees same things what he talked about India in Delhi. Isn't it reasonable?,” the BJP functionary added.
"Btw, isn't it true that your desk editor has edited/deleted all anti-Pak references from an invited column by a prominent Indian columnist, so much that he withdrew the article from WaPo and published it somewhere else?" he retorted indicating a slam.
Lopez replied: "That's not true. We have published many articles critical of Pakistan. But some writers don't like to be edited. They expect publications to post what they write untouched, unchallenged. If a writer doesn't want to go through our rigorous process, they're welcome to go elsewhere."
"Don't give sermons. I am asking specific case of prominent Indian columnist. Either confirm or deny. Btw, your silence will be construed as confirmation," the BJP functionary continued.
"Dear @elopezgross, you mentioned @washingtonpost has published “many articles” against Pakistan . I would like to refresh your knowledge. You have published NO article against Pakistan in last 60 days. None. Correct me if I am wrong," Chauthaiwale further added.
On Thursday, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said was not doing a favour to the country by the investments and questioned how the online retailing major could incur such "big" losses but for its predatory pricing.
Goyal, who has not yet given Bezos an audience, said e-commerce companies have to follow Indian rules in letter and spirit and not find loopholes to make a back-door entry into multi-brand retail segment. "They (Amazon) may have put in a billion dollars but if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then jolly well will have to finance that billion dollar. So, it is not as if they are doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars," he said at the Raisina Dialogue.
Bezos, who was in India for a high-profile visit, did not get time from top government functionaries. On top of that, there were stinging comments from a Union Minister telling Amazon that they were not doing a favour by investing a billion dollars in India.
(Inputs from Agencies)