NEWS PM MODI PRESS
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined BJP chief Amit Shah in addressing a press conference here — the first by the PM, though at the fag end of his career — and avoided answering questions Friday, at end of the season’s campaign for the Lok Sabha polls. The PM said he felt blessed by the support he got from the media in the past five years, and that he would return to govern the nation “with full majority” after the results are out.
This was the first time the PM addressed a press conference in the last five years of his governance. Yet, he spoke briefly, a few sentences by way of an introduction, and did not take questions from the assembled media. Shah seized the moment and answered queries from reporters, and said it was not necessary the PM should answer all their questions. The meet was held at the BJP headquarters.
Modi sat through the press meet, calm, cool, contemplative, and composed. Modi sat through the press meet, calm, cool, contemplative, and composed. “No, no, not me… When the party president is around, he would speak. I am a disciplined worker of the party,” Modi responded when a question was raised to him at the press meet. The PM directed the question to Shah.
Shah said, “We are hoping to get around 300 seats this time,” against the 341 last time for the NDA. In response, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said people have rejected the BJP in this polls, the last and seventh phase of its polling taking place on 19th May, Sunday, followed by release of results on May 23 as per the present election commission schedule.
At the close of the campaign, Friday, the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seemed tensed. At the press meet, while Modi maintained his usual cool, Shah spoke in measured tones.
PM AND MEDIA
PM Modi’s relationship with the media was a subject of talk among journalistic circles all through his five=year term. Modi was at the receiving end of a media-blitz against him after the Gujarat riots, especially from the elitist English media, who used secularism as a stick to beat Modi with. Keeping this in mind, and unlike what other PMs did, Modi made it a point not to take any media personnel along with him during his frequent foreign visits. In fact, Modi kept the media as a whole at a distance — like most strong leaders.
In Delhi, Modi as PM was famously the “outsider” who became the “insider” in the power circles dominated by western-educated men.
There were perceptions that the leftists in the media, a strong component in Delhi, campaigned against him. This was until Modi entered the race for the PM post. Then they cowered. By then, the barons who ran the media were already ready to dance to Modi’s tunes. They set the policy for their establishments, and the small fries down the line fell in line.
Again, a section of the media, among them The Hindu and some online publications, continued targeting him, at times for reason and at times for no reason. Yet, with the bulk of the media establishments on his side, Modi couldn’t care less about the others.
For most part, Modi avoided targeting those who targeted him. He did not try to win them over; he simply ignored them. He knew. and many others knew too, that there was an agenda behind the agenda of secularism that his detractors held aloft against him. Modi, though, was not the one to buckle under pressure. — IHN=NN
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