Rahul Gandhi’s aversion to impromptu, full-length TV interviews is not a secret. Ever since the catastrophic disaster that was his interview with Arnab Goswami, Rahul Gandhi has mostly limited his interactions to media with print media outlets only. He has been seen in a number of press conferences surrounded with a number of senior Congress leaders working as his chaperone and apparently to minimize any sort of damage he causes.
Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly claimed that PM Modi does not interact to the press. The allegations are categorically false but truth never mattered to Rahul Gandhi anyway. In recent times, PM Modi has given several back-to-back TV interviews. Perhaps driven by this and hoping to finally get rid of the ‘Arnab curse’, Congress leadership decided to put Rahul Gandhi in front of the camera again in an impromptu set-up. However, if rumors on social media are to be believed, the experiment has gone horribly wrong.
A few days ago, the social media was abuzz with rumors that during his flight to Agra, Rahul Gandhi gave an interview to India Today Editorial Director Raj Chengappa and Associate Editor Kaushik Deka. The interview was supposed to be a televised one. However, the rumor had it that the interview went so bad that Congress had to plead with India Today editorial team not to air it. Finally, India Today went with a print version of the interview.
RaGa's interview published in IndiaToday
But RaGa gave a TV interview
Rahul urged them not to run it because it was a disaster
Congress snatched the recordings and asked it to run a print interview
InTo complied like any 'pliable' media would
*based on SM Speculations*
— The Frustrated Indian (@FrustIndian) May 3, 2019
The rumor gained traction after some social media users spotted a collar-mike on Rahul Gandhi which is usually used for televised interviews.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) May 2, 2019
India Today’s promotional tickers had also hinted at a televised interview.
It seems Rahul Gandhi could not cope up with the epic failure of the interview. Now, there are rumors that there was another interview lined up. According to the buzz on social media, the Aaj Tak team, including Anjana Om Kashyap and Shweta Singh, was supposed to interview Rahul Gandhi in Jaipur. However, after initial dilly-dallying, Rahul Gandhi completely backed out of the interview with Aaj Tak.
After the first interview fiasco of Rahul gandhi, aajtak set up another interview with him in Jaipur.. team of 25 including anchors landed in Jaipur and Rahul Gandhi ditched them saying he dint like the cover pic of him on their issue. ???
— चौकीदार अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) May 5, 2019
So news is coming that INC thugs never allowed your last interview on video to be released. Grabbed the video n ran off.
Plus you also called Aaj Tak Hindi to Jaipur and ditched them at the last moment. All you can do is talk to your Pidi journos like Pallavi Ghosh. ??? https://t.co/NKDTB7IBVC
— Chowkidar Ashu (@muglikar_) May 5, 2019
According to the rumors, Rahul Gandhi had an issue with the promotional picture India Today group had used from his earlier interview. This is the picture Rahul Gandhi took exception to:
If the rumors are accurate, it seems the ‘Arnab curse’ has deeply impacted Rahul Gandhi’s performance in TV interviews and he has completely lost confidence in his ability to pull off an interview. The alleged nixing of the TV interview with India Today and then blowing off the Aaj Tak interview citing a flimsy reason shows that despite media’s recurring ‘He has matured’ glowing profiles, Rahul has still not recovered from the epic disaster that was his interview with Arnab Goswami in the run-up to 2014 elections.