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Modi finally shows he can take tough questions but still has no good answers

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Modi presents a softer version of himself but leaves us no wiser on the anxieties of the economy.

Chaliye Puducherry ko vanakkam,” had become shorthand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inability to take tough, unscripted questions. During a video interaction with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, the prime minister was stumped when a worker asked him if the middle class was going to get any benefits for bearing the tax burden.

There were reports that from now on, questions by BJP workers in these video interactions are going to be screened—reports the BJP denied.

The PM’s interview to news agency ANI saw its editor Smita Prakash ask him almost all the tough questions anyone would have asked. This was surprising not only because most of his interviewers ask him leading questions that give him an opportunity only to praise himself and his government. The tough questions were even more surprising since ANI is seen as being rather friendly towards the BJP.

What was not surprising is the prime minister answered the tough questions with such alacrity that it seemed he knew the questions in advance. In other words, it came across as a scripted tough interview intended to give out the impression that the PM is not afraid of hard questions. Puducherry ko vanakkam. There were no follow up questions but let’s not nitpick.

Also read: TV Prime Time is PM time: Was Narendra Modi interview a PR exercise?


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