On a day when Op India-Republic TV's newsbreak regarding an alleged link between Rahul Gandhi and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari became a national talking point, the Congress deplorably barred Republic TV from posing questions to its party chief at his press conference in Chennai, even as he made a show out of extolling his own openness to the media.
When Rahul Gandhi spoke about Nirav Modi, Mallya and few other people under the topic of corruption, a student at the Stella Maris college had questioned him about Robert Vadra. The Congress president, who likely didn't expect this question from a college student, was visibly ruffled and even got combative in his answer. He responded by stating that the government agencies should investigate anyone including Vadra and also Prime minister Modi on the Rafale deal over which he has been making allegations for months.
Later, at a press conference, he spoke again about numerous topics, including election alliances, the BJP's ideology and his Rafale allegations.
However, Rahul Gandhi didn't take a single question from national media who were ready to ask about the purported link with Sanjay Bhandari. The Congress karyakartas who were organising the interaction ensured that the mid wasn't passed to national media reporters who were attending the press conference. The
A Congress district secretary also said that they were not to pass the mic to the area where national media reporters were seated.
Interestingly, in a flagrant violation of the 'rule', an English daily's reporter got 3 chances to question Rahul Gandhi after revealing the name of his media outlet. Rahul Gandhi himself said that he had to give another opportunity to the reporter because the publication in question did a 'fantastic job' with the report on Rafale.
Just hours earlier, Union Minister Smriti Irani, who is most likely going to challenge Rahul Gandhi once again for the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, had held a press briefing where she had sought answers on the alleged link, in which the Congress has since made a major admission about land being purchased by Rahul Gandhi from one HL Pahwa, who is linked via CC Thampi - a Robert Vadra-aide - to Sanjay Bhandari who also allegedly has dealings with the Congress president's brother-in-law.