Congress slams PM’s ‘monologue’, “I’s’ and ‘lies’: poses 10 questions
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s marathon interview to news agency ANI, aired on TV channels on Tuesday, failed to answer questions and silence critics
Hours after news agency ANI’s interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was aired by TV channels on Tuesday evening, Congress slammed the ‘monologue’ and said it was much ado about nothing.
Pointing out that 100 days remained of Mr Modi’s term as Prime Minister, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told the media that the countdown for the PM had started.
While the ‘marathon’ interview had many of the questions directed at the Prime Minister by political rivals, critics and the man on the street, his answers left many viewers dissatisfied. As former diplomat and Ambassador K.C. Singh tweeted, the answers were what the Prime Minister has been saying in his campaign speeches. Others pointed out that the fact that the interviewer, Smita Prakash of ANI, was not allowed to ask supplementary questions, pointed to a scripted and pre-vetted interview.
Here is a summary of what the Prime Minister said :
• An ordinance on the Ram Temple will follow after the judicial process is completed; that ‘Congress lawyers’ were stalling the progress of the proceedings in court.
• Demonetisation was not a sudden decision, was in the works for a year and he had warned in advance that unless people with black money come clean, they would have to pay.
• RBI Governor Urijit Patel had done a good job and had confided in the PM his desire to quit on personal grounds six months before he did.
• The PM had supervised the surgical strike across the border and that he had told the commanders that success or failure, they should return before sunrise.
• Those who are raising questions on Rafale are weakening the security of the nation and armed forces.
• Triple Talaq is a question of gender equality ( because other Islamic countries have also banned it) but Sabarimala is a matter of faith.
• That it was too much to expect Pakistan to behave after only one war.
• That the next election will be fought between the people and the opposition’s grand alliance.
Some viewers took to Twitter to question if the Prime Minister had granted the interview as a BJP leader or as the Prime Minister of the country.
“… there are no counter questions; no follow-ups that, as journalists, we must ask. It has allowed the PM a huge platform to once again "address" the nation at large,” said senior journalist Anuradha Raman.
Former foreign secretary KC Singh felt that Modi’s answers were nothing but what PM Modi had been saying during his campaign speeches.
“Qs undeniably pre-vetted. She’s been allowed to play Devil’s (not Doval’s) Advocate as BJP realises they need PM to answer issues being discussed in the street. But Answers are mostly what he has been saying during campaign speeches, with some updating.”
His statement on Pakistan elicited the following response: “This is @narendramodi after being in Power for 1681 days,” said a Twitter user.
“Who is this spreading #FakeNews! Didn't our beloved @PMOIndia tell us #SurgicalStrikes struck terror in Pakistan and it will never dare attack us again! Uh wait...,” tweeted Preeti Sharma Menon, the National Executive Member, AamAadmi Party.
Senior Congress leader and former union minister Anand Sharma blasted the interview as piece of “propaganda.”
The Congress spokesperson Surjewala said that the country is disappointed at the Prime minister beginning the New Year with ‘I’ s and ‘lies’. The Prime Minister’s penchant for putting himself in the forefront with “I, me, mine” had caused havoc in the last 55 months and the country has had enough of him.
The country would have wished for the PM to answer on the 10 promises he had made, he said and listed them as follows:
1. Didn’t the PM promise to bring back black money from abroad within 100 days and deposit Rs 15 lakhs in the account of each Indian ?
2. Didn’t the PM promise to create 10 Crore or 100 million jobs in five years? Has he been able to create even one million?
3. Didn’t the PM promise farmers a neat profit over their cost? But leave alone profit, have the farmers got even their cost covered ?
4. Didn’t the PM promise to simplify trade ? But he has merely managed to make it more complicated.
5. Didn’t Demonetisationhurt the common man while ensuring ‘aish’ ( comfortable time) and ‘cash’ to the rich ?
6. Didn’t the PM compromise with national security and failed to prevent the killing of civilians and security personnel in Maoist violence and in J &K ? Haven’t 428 security personnel been killed in J &K ?
7. If the Prime Minister is so confident that nothing wrong had happened in the Rafale deal, why is he shying away from a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee in which NDA members would be in a majority ?
8. Why is aviation fuel cheaper than the fuel used by the common man in their vehicles?
9. Has the Ganga been cleaned ? Even the Central Pollution Control Board has reported that at 38 of the 39 spots it checked, Ganga remained as dirty as ever.
10. How many of the 100 smart cities promised by the PM have come up ?
Surjewala sarcastically added that the Prime Minister had himself stopped talking about his flagship schemes like Make In India, Start Up India, Skill India and so on.
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