A few kilometres away from where the Congress chief addressed the media, Narendra Modi held a press conference — a first for the Prime Minister in his five years in power.
New Delhi: Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had an opportunity that was squandered, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the Election Commission had designed the campaign schedule to favour the prime minister.
Modi, along with BJP president Amit Shah, held a press conference in the capital – a first for the Prime Minister in his five years in power. A few kilometres away, Gandhi also addressed the media simultaneously.
While Modi eventually did not take questions, Gandhi mocked him for holding his first press conference just days before polling ends.
Gandhi later took to Twitter to congratulate Modi for showing up at the press conference. “Next time, Mr Shah may even allow you to answer a couple of questions. Well done!” he said.
Congratulations Modi Ji. Excellent Press Conference! Showing up is half the battle. Next time Mr Shah may even allow you to answer a couple of questions. Well done! 👍
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 17, 2019
“Why did the prime minister not accept my challenge for a debate on the Rafale issue?” Gandhi asked at the press conference. “Our strategy for the last two years was to systematically close every door to stop Modi from escaping. We closed 90% of the doors, and he helped us close the remaining 10% by abusing people.”
Gandhi claimed that the EC was biased in favour of the ruling party. “The entire schedule has been in Modi’s favour and the people of the country understand this,” he said.
“Narendra Modi and the BJP have unlimited money and unlimited marketing. A lot more than us. The ratio I think would be 1:20. We only have the truth and the truth will win,” Gandhi said, adding that the Congress had exposed the government’s failures.
Referring to the BJP’s mandate in 2014, Gandhi said, “Modi had a huge opportunity. I would have liked to see him move the country forward. He lost sight of the real picture, people chose him to give the country a vision, but he chose to abuse our vision.”
Gandhi maintained that the media had been “unfair”. “The media asked me tough questions…where will you get the money for NYAY. But of Modi, they will ask questions on clothes and mangoes,” he said.
Gandhi also refused to pre-judge election results. The “people’s vision” for the country would be clear on May 23 when election results are declared, he said.
While fielding a question on Modi’s attack targeting former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress chief said, “If Narendra Modi wants to say something untoward about my parents, that’s his deal. I have nothing to say about that.”
Refusing to comment on BSP supremo Mayawati, Gandhi said, “I can have an opinion on the Congress, I can have an opinion on my views. I am not going to judge Narendra Modi or Mayawati ji. The people will decide.”