Rahul Gandhi has started a series of media interactions during the Coronavirus lockdown in India, which seems to be yet another attempt at image makeover by the Congress party and their media sympathisers. So far, there have been two interactions by Rahul Gandhi where he expressed his views on the Coronavirus pandemic and even took questions from certain journalists. After the second press interaction by Rahul Gandhi, hailing this move by the Congress scion, Rajdeep Sardesai appreciated him for the ‘unscripted’ media interactions.
On the 8th of May, Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted, “Agree with his views or not, appreciable that @RahulGandhi does these unscripted press conferences, takes qs from all reporters, young and ‘old’. Q and a, transparency, accountability are at heart of a democracy. In age of Zoom, ALL netas should be open to free-wheeling Qs”.
Rajdeep claimed that transparency and accountability are at the heart of a democracy and that Rahul Gandhi took questions from all reporters, young and old, and also, that other politicians should be open to ‘free-wheeling questions’ in the age of Zoom.
However, Rajdeep Sardesai and his lies were soon exposed by a journalist who belongs to his ecosystem. While Rajdeep tried extremely hard to claim that the interaction with Rahul Gandhi was ‘free-wheeling’ and ‘unscripted’, Sheela Bhatt asserted that it was, in fact, heavily monitored by Randeep Surjewala.
Sheela Bhatt, who belongs to the very same ecosystem as Rajdeep Sardesai said that it was a good press interaction, however, it was in no way ‘free-wheeling’. She said that journalists were required to submit the questions beforehand to Rajdeep Surjewala, senior Congress leader and the journalists who could ask questions were also hand-picked by the Congress party.
However, as she said this, she also shielded Rahul Gandhi by saying that it is better to have a press conference with “some restrictions” than having none at all.
One has to wonder why Rajdeep Sardesai would go out of his way to claim that the press interaction by Rahul Gandhi was ‘unscripted’ when he too would clearly know that not only were the journalists hand-picked, even the questions were submitted to the Congress party beforehand.
Rahul lies during the press conference
On Friday, Congress MP from Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi claimed has that the demarcation of Coronavirus-affected areas into the red (high number of cases), orange and green (no cases) is being done on a national level. He asserted that the power to decide these zones should have rested with the State and the District Magistrates, insinuating that the union government has taken unilateral decisions when deciding on zones.
While the lockdown was extended in India to further 2 weeks starting from May 4, significant relaxations were allowed as per the specific zones. The press note said that the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red (hotspot), Green, and Orange Zones.
The MHA circular clearly states that the zones are decided as per feedback from districts. It also stated that weekly review of the zones will be conducted with state authorities regarding the classifications.
The green zones are ones with zero confirmed cases to date or no confirmed cases for the last 21 days. The circular also said that the classification of districts as Red, Green, and Orange zones will be reviewed every week by the Ministry of Health with the States and Union Territories, as required. It also states that the states can add additional red and orange zones if they deem it necessary.
Moreover, the decisions of lockdown and subsequent steps have been taken after multiple meetings between the PM, home ministry and CMs of states. So claiming that the government’s decisions have been unilateral is a blatant lie.