Addressing a press conference at Circle House, Patiala in Punjab today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi made a searing attack on the Indian media on being questioned on the “weak” Opposition.
Gandhi was in Punjab where he has been leading a three-day rally against the controversial farm laws since Sunday. From Punjab, he will continue the protests in Haryana.
When asked how the BJP's growing success can be attributed to the "disintegrated" Opposition across states and at the centre, Gandhi said: "An Opposition in any country functions within a framework. The framework is the press, the judicial system, institutions that protect the voice of the people, and that entire framework has been captured, the entire architecture of giving voice to the people of India is captured and controlled by the BJP."
He continued: “In fact, you come from one of the newspapers that exerts a little bit of independence, which is not the case on most TV channels and newspapers, so if the entire institutional architecture is captured, and then to say the Opposition is weak, that isn’t really a correct statement...
“Give me free press, institutions that are free, and then the government will not last. I don’t have that. I can take proof, clear-cut proof, for example, the Rafale deal, I can bring it to you, you will not show it.”
Gandhi said that at a "certain level", the press is not doing its job. "It’s okay for you to blame and say the Opposition is weak but, my friend, you are also walking into slavery.”
During the course of the press interaction, Gandhi also talked about his skirmish with the Uttar Pradesh police last week when on his way to Hathras to meet the family of the gangrape victim.
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