Modi’s government received criticism not just from the political opposition and civil society, but also from quarters that previously defended his every move, from demonetisation to last year’s migration crisis.
The BJP and Modi’s image managers have responded by accusing critics of conspiring against the government to create what they have called a “false narrative.”
“The government still appears to be obsessing about electoral fortunes and maintaining the popularity of the party leadership,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, told DW.
“Politicians presumably seek public office because they have a genuine interest in delivering good governance and upholding rights,” she said.
“Hiding the truth, aggressively deflecting criticism, and punishing the messenger, is not good governance.”
Ganguly said that ideas for dealing with the pandemic coming from opposition parties or civil society groups were undermined by the government.
She added that senior BJP ministers were engaging in petty public squabbles.
In one instance, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and the youth wing of the opposition Congress party got into a social media spat after the latter provided oxygen supplies to foreign embassies in New Delhi.