Modi chose to talk to people directly because of a hostile media: Jaitley

New Delhi, Aug 30: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopted the strategy of engaging with people directly because he had experienced a hostile media in the past, a Financial Express report said.

Modi became a subject of criticism for majority of Indian newspapers after the deadly pogroms that broke out in Gujarat following the Godhra train tragedy in February 2002.

According to a leading newspaper, Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat then, had said in an interview to it that every action has a reaction, justifying the violence. Jaitley, who was speaking at an event where two books on Modi were released, said no such interview had ever taken place but it became the launching pad for the anti-Modi campaign, the report added.

He said Modi's plea for peace and other statements were not published and it was because of the media's hostility that Modi chose to speak to the people directly.

On the occasion, Jaitley and Prakash Javadekar, another Union minister, said the claims that Modi was centralising power were not true and added that the current government saw "a lot of decentralised authority coupled with a large amount of accountability".

Jaitley said the claims that Modi justified the 2002 riots were not true

Both said the prime minister means business and no minister in the current government leaves work behind. Jaitley said a Gujarati minister had told him on the day of the swearing-in that the new prime minister never sleeps and neither allows anybody to sleep, said the report.

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