New Delhi: A day after Rahul Gandhi accused a journalist of conducting a "staged" interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Arun Jaitley hit out at the Congress chief, saying he had "displayed his real DNA".
"The Grandson of the 'Emergency dictator' displays his real DNA – attacks and intimidates an independent Editor," he tweeted, adding, "Why are the pseudo liberals silent? Waiting for the Editors guild's response."
The Congress president drew sharp criticism from media personnel and the BJP after he termed PM Modi's television interview as "staged" and said that it was conducted by a "pliable journalist".
The journalist at the centre of the controversy, ANI editor Smita Prakash, had called Gandhi's comment "a cheap shot".
Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi, cheap shot at your press conference to attack me. I was asking questions not answering. You want to attack Mr Modi, go ahead but downright absurd to ridicule me. Not expected of a president of the oldest political party in the country.— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) January 2, 2019
Reacting to the allegations, she told CNN-News18, "I don't know if Rahul Gandhi has seen the complete interview or just has information from others. I don't know why he called me pliable journalist."
She further said that topics are given before any PM interview. "If someone thinks that a prime minister can be asked questions like 'is your magic over?', then he/she is mistaken."
During a press conference on Wednesday, Gandhi had told reporters: "He (Modi) does not have the guts to come and sit in front of you. And I am coming here… you can ask me any question… I come here once in seven-ten days… and you saw the Prime Minister’s interview yesterday…matlab pliable journalist, woh question bi kar rahi thi, pradhan mantri ka answer bi de rahi thi, side mein (she was asking questions as well as giving answers)."
Earlier in Parliament, Gandhi had said "...The entire nation is asking why the Prime Minister can speak for one-and-a-half hour in a staged interview and not answer the fundamental questions of Rafale."
"We demand a JPC probe into matter. There is no reason for BJP leaders to feel afraid," Gandhi had said.