I am ashamed of my PM, serious concerns about his brain: Pitroda to ANI

During the interview, the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress is asked to respond to PM Modi’s criticism of the Congress manifesto

Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress (photo: National Herald archives)
Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress (photo: National Herald archives)

AJ Prabal

“This is a lie. I am ashamed of my Prime Minister. He is a pathological liar. How can we trust such people?” says Sam Pitroda in reply to the very first question put by ANI on PM Modi’s scathing charge that the Congress manifesto has the imprint of the Muslim League. That is not all that he says about the PM.

“I initially ignored the Prime Minister’s lie,” he went on to say and added, “I thought it was generated by Artificial Intelligence. No Prime Minister could utter such lies. The model code of conduct is for everyone…”.

“Has the Prime Minister read the manifesto? It looks like the Prime Minister cannot read. It looks like the PM thinks Indians are ‘murkh’ (stupid) and can be manipulated.”

The interviewer from the ANI, who is never seen, persists and asks Pitroda that the Prime Minister had accused the Congress manifesto of minority appeasement and referred to PM Modi distorting the statement of Dr Manmohan Singh in December, 2006 by omitting the reference to ‘women, the poor, the children, the SC and the ST, the OBC” and insinuating that Dr Singh had spoken of only Muslims having the first right to nation’s resources. The interviewer also points to Modi saying that Congress would take away reservation from everyone else and give it only to Muslims.

Pitroda keeps his cool and replies that the Congress manifesto says nothing of the sort.   He says that PM Modi may not have said so ‘consciously’ and goes on to explain that a Congress government’s objective would not be to create more billionaires. “If that happens, it is good. But billionaires are smart people and they can take care of themselves. But it is the poor and the vulnerable who need support from the government”, he says while referring to reports that 22 richest Indians had access to wealth with 700 million Indians.

The Congress manifesto’s focus was on jobs, Pitroda says. India, he reminds the interviewer, is a young country and the youth needed jobs. If jobs are not created for them, unrest, violence, drug addiction and worse would follow. “People of India are smart enough” and it is possible that the Prime Minister is afraid that they have seen through him and is reacting in panic, he suggests.

For the first 25 minutes of the interview, Pitroda explains in detail what is there in the Congress manifesto. He had seen the process through which the party prepares its manifesto and he himself was a member of a group in 1989, with General Krishna Rao, V. Krishnamurthy and ML Rasgotra, which was formed to help frame the manifesto. The ‘official’ group was headed by P.V. Narasimha Rao, Pranab Mukherjee and others. He had seen many Congress manifestos but the one prepared in 2024, he asserts, is the best he had seen.

On the 26th minutes of the interview, the interviewer returns to his question about Modi saying that the Congress manifesto threatened to take away wealth from everyone else and ‘redistribute’ them, well, among Muslims.

Pitroda barely manages to remain cool but fumes, “Is the PM mad? I am having serious concerns about his brain”.

He patiently explains that redistribution of wealth is meant to ensure that there are no monopolies, that wealth does not get concentrated in a few hands, that a few people do not become so rich that they start running the government and dictating it. “But it does not mean I take off your shirt…enter your house and take away your furniture and shoes…”.

Redistribution of wealth required policies and for that data and surveys were required. He then proceeds to say that there is an interesting law in the United States regarding inheritance. The inheritance tax, which does not exist in India, ensures that billionaires, when they die, leave half their wealth for the public good while the legal heirs inherit the rest. These are some of the laws and policies that Indians should discuss and debate, he adds.

The rest, as they say, is history. This last, casual reference to the inheritance tax was distorted by the Prime Minister and the mainstream TV channels.

Did the ANI release the complete video interview? The Indian Overseas Congress has now shared the complete interview. You can watch it here:

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