Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed what was billed as his first ever press conference. However, it turned out to be another damp squib as Modi once again shied away from taking questions. The event ended as Amit Shah’s press conference with Modi accompanying him.
Modi made an introductory speech talking about his campaign and how he did not miss a single rally and that even the weather was kind to him. He, however, looked nervous on the possibility of being grilled by journalists in his first press conference. After he ended his speech, Modi handed the mic to Amit Shah, who started the press conference.
Among those who posed questions to Amit Shah were Amitabh Sinha of News18 India, Navin Kapoor of ANI, Megha Prasad of Times Now, Anjana Om Kashyap of Aaj Tak and Akhilesh Sharma of NDTV India among others.
Anjana Om Kashyap in particular attempted to ask Modi a question as she said, “Mera sawal Pradhanmantri ji aap ki izajat se.” Even before Kashyap could complete her question, Modi pointed at Amit Shah to suggest Amit Shah will take questions from reporters not him. He said, “I am a disciplined soldier. Party president is everything to me.” Kashyap reminded Modi about his claim that he made in an interview that he will not forgive terror accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, a patriot.
But, once again, Modi remained a mute spectator and Shah decided to answer on behalf of the prime minister.
Another journalist who sought to ask Modi a question was Akhilesh Sharma from NDTV India with his question on what the prime minister made of the opposition leaders’ attempt to stitch an alliance even before the results were out. Once again, Modi refused to take the question and pointed at Amit Shah. While Sharma was asking his question, one BJP leader was heard fervently whispering ‘no please’ as if to plead that ‘please don’t ask the PM any questions.’ His voice was audible over the earphone.
Modi’s inability to take questions even at the end of his government’s five year term will give credence to allegations that he can’t speak for a minute without following a script. Modi will go down in history as the first Indian prime minister, who never addressed a single press conference.
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 17, 2019