Congress president Rahul Gandhi has thrown another debate challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the current Lok Sabha election season. He tweeted a status update on Tuesday that “Dear PM, Scared of debating me on corruption? I can make it easier for you. Let’s go open book, so you can prepare”, followed by three listed topics, which are “1. Rafale + Anil Ambani 2. Nirav Modi 3. Amit Shah + Demonetisation.”
All the ‘topics’ that Mr Gandhi brought up, which are undoubtedly controversial, have already been ‘debated’ upon by the opposition and the centre more than once in the past.
This new challenge comes in the backdrop of PM Modi never responding to a number of former debate challenges proposed by Rahul Gandhi. The Congress president has from time to time offered to sit down for a face-to-face debate with Modi on a variety of issues pertinent to India. In last January, he took a swipe at the Prime Minister by challenging with a 20-minute one-on-one US presidential-style debate on the Rafale fighter jet deal. “Just give me 20 minutes to debate with the PM… the one-on-one debate on Rafale, combat jets… but he doesn’t have the guts,” Gandhi said.
“You can run Mr Modi but you can’t hide. Your karma is about to catch up with you. The country can hear it in your voice,” Gandhi had tweeted earlier.
Gandhi had first challenged Modi for an open debate on national security, corruption and foreign policy on April 2 while addressing a gathering at Congress’ manifesto release event at the party headquarters here.
Narendra Modi has been always criticized for not holding even one press meeting or a public debate, making him the first ever Prime Minister not doing so. It is also accused that the minimal number of media interviews he has permitted, were all scripted beforehand.
Modi, addressing a rally at Latur in Maharashtra state, called upon Congress’ manifesto as a document that “speaks the same language as Pakistan’s”.