Narendra Modi sat for his first (and historically only as PM) press conference alongside Amit Shah, and let the BJP President do the talking.
Sitting for his maiden press briefing in five years, PM Narendra Modi decided to act as a soldier of the BJP rather than the Prime Minister of India.
“No, no, not me. We don’t speak in front of the president,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to a reporter’s question at the press meet before the end of the national election campaign.
- The BJP President hosted the press with PM Modi sitting alongside him; but Shah did most of the talking.
- PM Modi passed on the questions that press directly addressed to him, mentioning that he was a “disciplined soldier” of the party.
- Modi has come under repeated criticism from the opposition for not addressing a single press briefing after he becoming PM.
- Modi’s only remark for press to takeaway was a claim that the government after completing the five-year term, will return with full majority post election.
- PM Modi’s Varanasi constituency will vote in the last phase of the 7-phase election on 19th May.
During his 2019 re-election campaign, PM Modi gave a series of interviews, some of which were apolitical while others lacked proper questions from the anchors. Critics in the opposition have termed PM Modi’s interviews as were scripted and flattering to deceive.
Will return with majority again: PM Modi
When PM Modi was directly addressed with a question by a journalist at the press conference, he decided to be coy, addressing himself as a ‘disciplined soldier of the party. However, Modi did remark on the chances of his re-election.
The PM also referred to his 2014 victory, indicating that those betting against him will again suffer in 2019. He opined:
“On May 16 the results came out. And in May 17 there was a big casualty. Those who were power-hungry and those into betting suffered a biggest loss.”
Shah shields: Not necessary for PM to answer
Amit Shah who was taking questions from the media, said that it wasn’t necessary for the PM to answer questions. He firmly stated:
“I have answered your question. It is not necessary for the PM to answer every question,”
Shah defiantly responded to all questions that were being addressed to PM Modi.
Tight-lipped on chances of a Third Front
When asked about the chances of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao’s federal front. PM Modi restrained from talking and signalled Shah to respond. He said:
“See, we are completely sure that we are going to win. These people don’t have any work on the campaign trail so they are meeting in drawing rooms.”
Rahul was clearly impressed
Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, who addressed a press conference around the same time was clearly impressed by the PM’s decision to final meet and greet the press days before his term ends. He said:
“Very good, very good. So the prime minister of India addresses his first press conference in the last few days of his term… just before the results of the next election is due. PM Modi is “accompanying” Amit Shah in a press conference, which is an unprecedented event for him.”
Gandhi again brought forward the Rafale issue and inquired why PM had not accepted his challenge of a debate on the subject.
Congress then posted a slew of tweets mocking PM Modi for remaining a coy and tight-lipped through the entire briefing. Rahul also took a jibe at Modi’s apparent discipline and Shah’s seniority as touted by the PM.