Prime Minister Modi in his interview to Indian Express minced no words in taking on the Lutyens media and the Congress party, especially the party president Rahul Gandhi. Taking on Rahul Gandhi’s campaign strategy which was to destroy Modi’s incorruptible image, PM Modi said, “Modi ki chhavi, Delhi ke Khan Market ke gang ne nahin banayi hai, Lutyens Delhi ne nahin banayi hai. 45 saal ki Modi ki tapasya ne chhavi banayi hai. Achchi hai ya buri hai. (Modi’s image, whether good or bad, has not been made by the Khan Market gang or the Lutyens Delhi. It has been built by hard work of over 45years.) You cannot dismantle it.”
Questioning the Lutyens media for creating Rajiv Gandhi’s ‘Mr Clean’ image despite the accusations of his involvement in Bofors scam and the role of Congress leaders in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Modi says Rajiv Gandhi is not his issue. Speaking on the Nehru-Gandhi family taking the Indian Navy’s INS Virat for their family vacation, PM Modi said that he raked up the issue when Congress questioned him and accused him of treating the armed forces as his personal property. “Kehte hain ki baat niklegi toh dur talak jayegi (it is said that when a talk starts, you never know when it ends),” PM Modi said.
Adding that the December 2018 results in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan acted more like a confidence booster for the party cadre, Modi said, “Every pollster, media, Lutyens Club, the Khan Market gang, was eager to defeat us and predictions were being made that we will wind up with about 40 seats in all three states.” He added that while everyone was rooting for the BJP to lose, the fact is that Congress couldn’t even get the full majority in either Madhya Pradesh or in Rajasthan. “We had more votes than them (in Madhya Pradesh). So, the results, in a way, were a confidence-builder for party cadres,” PM Modi said.
Speaking on his image, he said, he is a fun person. He says he does not ‘manage’ photoshoots with opposition where they all appear smiling, but he is otherwise a leader who enjoys light moments.
Making a sly remark on the Indian Express, Prime Minister Modi said that while the newspaper has always been at the forefront of raising issues relating to crime against the backward communities, the paper missed following up on the horrific gang-rape in Alwar, Rajasthan of the Dalit woman which took place a few days back.
On a lighter note, when the Indian Express journalist asked him what could his government not do despite the 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, he said he could not get the Indian Express to be objective in Modi’s criticism.