Modi came, Modi spoke but Modi didn't take questions

Modi came, Modi spoke but Modi didn't take questions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures after releasing Bharatiya Janata Party's election manifesto in New Delhi. (Reuters Photo)

Media expected that they will get a chance to interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of BJP manifesto on Monday but they were left disappointed as he left the venue without facing any question at the 90-minute function.

Usually, at manifesto release, leaders interact with media and take questions but Modi and other leaders not facing the press has attracted criticism from Opposition parties, which claimed that it was nothing new and he has been avoiding media.

While the Opposition has been accusing Modi of not addressing press conferences, it was expected that he may respond to questions from media. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly alleging that Modi was scared of facing media.

At the launch, Modi was the last speaker after BJP chief Amit Shah and senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. As soon as Modi ended his speech, senior leader Bhupinder Yadav, who was conducting the ceremony, thanked the leaders as well as media.

None of the leaders waited to speak to media. Manifesto committee chairman Rajnath Singh tweeted soon after the function, "heading to Jammu for election campaign. Shall address election meetings in Udhampur and Jammu parliamentary constituencies today."

Reacting to Modi not speaking to the press, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told DH, “this is nothing unusual about him. He is terrified to answer. This is typical of an autocrat and not a democrat.”

CPI National Secretary D Raja said that it was "not unexpected", as the Prime Minister was scared of facing media. "He never listens to anybody. He just comes and deliver his 'Mann ki Baat'. This is his style. He just imposes," he told DH.

Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel too hit out at BJP leaders for not facing media and said, "after we presented our manifesto, we held a detailed question and answer session. And immediately after BJP presented its manifesto, all of their leaders went home without even taking a single question. No answers on their five years? It is this arrogance which will bring them down on May 23," he said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted, "PM Modi spent five years in power without facing even a single presser and today when Modi-ji along with other senior party leaders presented their manifesto, still they could not take any question from the press. Such phobia about media in the country's PM is dangerous for democracy."

At the release of manifestos of their parties recently, Gandhi, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI National Secretary D Raja and leaders of other parties had spoken to media.

Modi has given interviews to a few TV channels recently and it had attracted negative comments from a section of social media users.