Mumbai: When journalists reached the venue for what they were told would be Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s first press conference in Mumbai, they hardly expected it to end in a little over two minutes. Two minutes, 40 seconds, to be precise. Some journalists also complained that the Congress chief arrived almost an hour late.
Over 100 journalists from print, electronic and online media had come for the press interaction. Many of them took to social media expressing disappointment and mocking the media briefing as the “shortest press conference”.
The press interaction was scheduled to be held at 8:30 am. Mr Gandhi reached the venue by 9:20 pm, made at statements criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP and the RSS, before leaving for Nagpur.
“Rahulji was getting delayed for his onward journey to Nagpur and Nanded and other engagements,” a party official told news agency IANS.
Amit Malviya. who heads the BJP’s IT cell, also took a swipe at the Congress chief, tweeting: “Rahul Gandhi just did a 1min 44sec, world’s shortest perhaps, press conference in Mumbai”.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam defended his party president and blamed “miscommunication” for the confusion. “Apparently, there was confusion over the nature of the interaction,” he said in a tweet.
“I informed this to Rahulji and he told me that he would give a “byte” before leaving for Nagpur today morning. It was never supposed to be an interaction,” Mr Nirupam said, according to news agency Press Trust of India. “This was miscommunicated by our media co-ordinators and we accept responsibility for this goof-up,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)