Don't give masala to media: Modi to partymen

In a stern rebuke to motormouths in the party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked party leaders to refrain from making irresponsible statements and give "masala" to media.

Modi's comments during a video conference with BJP lawmakers and leaders came soon after Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar triggered a controversy saying one should not make "such a big deal if one or two such cases are reported" in a country big as India.

"We always complain that media did this, did that. But have you ever thought we make mistakes and give 'masala' to the media. We give statements on issues as if we are great social scientists and experts to analyse issues. The moment you see a camera you start speaking. So this half-baked stuff is picked up," Modi said.

He said it was not useful to blame media for all what is being reported and the point is we should keep our counsel. "It is not the media's fault," he added.

"Only those who are given responsibilities, they must speak on issues. If everybody speaks, the issue gets diverted. The damage will be then for the country, the party and yourself. Your credibility is eroded," Modi said.

He said when MPs were keen to speak in the past three years but by not speaking out of turn, they have not done any harm.

"It is not our job to give direction to people on every subject (on those we do not have expertise)," Modi said as he insisted that only those tasked with the job should do the talking.

If Gangwar's comments made it to the headlines on Sunday, there were a number of statements made by BJP leaders in the recent past that created a furore.

Recently, the newly elected BJP chief minister in Tripura Biplab Deb claimed that internet and satellite communication existed in the days of Mahabharata.

Minister of State for HRD Satyapal Singh also created a controversy when he said Darwin's theory was "scientifically wrong" since there are no witnesses to humans evolving from apes. 

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