Congress functionaries and leaders in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have reacted disapprovingly to the recent interview given by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to a news channel.
According to them, the Congress scion’s failure to give straight and concrete answers to simple questions defeated the entire purpose of the interview, which was originally intended to give him an image makeover before the general public.
A senior city-based party functionary, who in an interview to a local news channel had waxed eloquent on Rahul for showing the pluck to face the ‘no-holds barred’ interview’, admitted in private that the media chat had caused more damage to the party.
“It was like the interviewer was asking him about Delhi and he was talking about Paris. He was just harping on RTI and MGNREGA. Both these Legislation were passed during the tenure of UPA-I. Has not the party done anything worth mentioning after that?” he said.
Similarly, a party spokesperson from Raipur said it was quite obvious that Rahul was not prepared for the interview. “When he was asked about whether he feared losing to Narendra Modi, he replied that he had seen the death of his father and grandmother. How are these two issues related? The media manager of Rahul needs to be changed. His inner circle of advisers may be young, bright and educated but they lack political knowledge,” the spokesperson said.
Congress leaders, who were expecting Rahul to respond strongly to the personal barbs of the BJP, were also left disappointed.“We were expecting a much ‘stronger’ performance by way of some tough statements but he came out as someone, who was a new entrant to politics, which as we all know, is not the case.
He has been in active politics for more than a decade now,” a senior party MLA from MP said.
He also expressed serious reservations over the manner in which Rahul fielded the questions relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.“Rather than beating about the bush, he could have simply stated that that Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh had already apologised for the riots in 2005. That would have settled the issue,” he added.
Rahul's Comments on Riots Have Many Takers
Rahul’s accusations against Modi, even after the Supreme Court-monitored probe gave a clean chit to him and his govt, is unfortunate and irresponsible .
- Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP leader
For the first time in the country, court cases relating to the riots were transferred to Maharashtra. This is the clearest vote of no-confidence in the Modi Govt .
- Abhishek Singhvi, Congress Spokesperson
Rahul says that Modi was responsible for the 2002 riots because he was the CM. Then what about his father who was the PM when the carnage against Sikhs took place .
- Naresh Gujral, SAD leader
The common perception that has emerged among the Congress leaders in the wake of the Rahul interview is that he was not able to answer many questions convincingly, besides unnecessarily resorting to long rhetoric.
“If this interview had happened five-six years back, then also one could have understood. But today he is the PM candidate of the oldest party in the country and he still does not know how to handle a TV interview”, said a former Cabinet minister from Raipur.