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Modi ducks questions at first presser, draws flak

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New Delhi, May 17: Narendra Modi left everyone surprised when he showed up on the dais for a press conference by BJP president Amit Shah, but the Prime Minister did not take any questions which gave the opposition fresh ammo to intensify the attack.

PM Modi spoke for little over five minutes during which thanked people for support and highlighted the benefits of a full majority government. In his first appearance before the press, Prime Minister Modi claimed that the BJP was about to repeat history. "It will happen after a long time in the country, our Government will come to power with absolute majority for second consecutive time," he said.

PM Modi

Having been criticised for not addressing a single press conference in his five-year tenure, Friday's interaction came as a surprise to many. PM Modi also spoke about the election campaign but did not answer any questions that were asked by the media. Amit Shah answered them instead. He told reporters that he will not take any questions because the press conference is being addressed by Shah, and in BJP's system, discipline has to be followed.

[Full majority govt has benefits says Modi in his first presser]

Rahul Gandhi, whose press conference coincided with Shah's briefing, described PM Modi's presence at the media briefing "unprecedented" and took a jibe at PM for not taking questions.

"Congratulations Modi Ji. Excellent Press Conference! Showing up is half the battle. Next time Mr Shah may even allow you to answer a couple of questions. Well done."

Rahul Gandhi said since PM Modi is now addressing a press conference, he must tell why he is not debating with him on the Rafale deal.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has also took a jibe at the PM for not answering questions during his first ever press conference.

"It'd have been better if you actually took questions instead of just sitting there....But sure, everyone has to start somewhere," Owaisi tweeted.

"Modiji is so full of Mann ki Baat that he couldn't understand that a Press Conference also has questions. Even radios have interactive shows nowadays," tweeted Jignesh Mevani.

Today was the last day of campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Voting for the 59 Lok Sabha seats that are in Phase 7 will be held on Sunday.

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