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What Rahul Gandhi told the 'non-pliable' Gulf News

Rahul Gandhi has complained that PM Narendra Modi never talks to him. Too bad, Mr Modi.

 |  3-minute read |   09-01-2019
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A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an interview to ANI editor-in-chief Smita Prakash, Rahul Gandhi, Congress president, who, at other times, is all for the freedom of press, called the interviewer "pliable".

As the Editors Guild of India took exception to the use of the word 'pliable' for Prakash, the Congress defended the remark, saying, “Pliable isn’t offensive. It's the state of Indian journalism today."

Fair point!

Don’t we call our politicians corrupt?

The state of Indian journalism is such that the Congress chief chose to give his own interview — at an electorally time like this — to Gulf News. Journalists there are not known to ask punchy questions that are not part of the 'script'. But, like every leader, Rahul Gandhi too has a right to choose his interviewer.

Now, was this because Indian media is pliable — or because his last interview given to an Indian journalist in 2014, which was supposed to project him as an alternative to Narendra Modi, turned out to be an absolute PR disaster for Congress’ ‘yuva’ neta?

Gulf News is a daily English-language newspaper published from Dubai. The UAE ranks 119 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Sans Frontières.

Now, to the interview.

hand_010919051200.jpgNo, thank you: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is miffed Narendra Modi doesn't talk to him. (Source: Twitter)

Rahul Gandhi has complained that PM Modi never talks to him. Too bad, Mr Modi.

While that complaint might be part of the political posturing both Gandhi and Modi indulge in against each other, let’s try and dig further for some concrete statements or a possible vision the ‘yuva’ neta shared with his interviewee, Bobby Naqvi.

The Congress leader declared his party is going to contest the Lok Sabha elections alone in Uttar Pradesh.

“There are very interesting things that the Congress party can do in Uttar Pradesh... the Congress idea is very powerful for Uttar Pradesh. So, we are very confident of our ability in Uttar Pradesh and we will surprise people,” he said.

Given that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have sent out signals that they won’t share more than two seats — the Nehru-Gandhi family’s pocket borough of Rae Bareli and Amethi — with the Congress in a state that has 80 Lok Sabha seats, it doesn’t look like the Congress was spoilt for choice anyway.

“Our first aim is to defeat [PM] Mr Narendra Modi,” Rahul said.

gandh-690_010919050658.jpgA busy man: Rahul Gandhi is solely focused on defeating Narendra Modi. (Source: India Today)

Thank you for letting us know — even if it is through Gulf News that you let us know.

He then spoke at length about Rafale, cultural nationalism, GST, demonetisation, targeting the BJP and the Prime Minister on each issue. Much of that, we've been hearing incessantly since the past one year when Rahul took over as Congress president from his mother Sonia Gandhi.

When asked about the 2014 defeat, Rahul accepted that the mandate was clearly against the party. He said that the party has changed over the last four years.

“We were clearly told by the Indian people that in 2014 we are not happy with what you have offered us. We have taken that message home very deeply... if you go to MP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, we are listening to people and building our ideas. We are not deciding, we are asking people what they want. We are going to listen very carefully, our model is completely different than the BJP,” he said.

gandhi-690_010919050850.jpgI'm looking into it: Rahul Gandhi did not share his vision for India's future during the interview. (Source: Reuters)

And it is this ‘model’ that Rahul Gandhi did not elaborate upon. 

Perhaps, the interviewer did not ask. But that is not possible because Gulf News is not ‘pliable’ Indian media.

In a tough question, Rahul Gandhi was also asked about his marriage plans — to which he said his “single-minded focus is that we are fighting an ideological war, we have to make sure that Mr Modi and the RSS do not continue to have their hold on Indian institutions.” 

Bold reply!

Also read: How Rahul Gandhi has finally found his political groove, emerging as the primary challenger to Narendra Modi

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