Modi a Better Speaker, Rahul More Confident: Twitter on Interviews
Twitter gave opinions about the many interviews of Modi and Rahul from this election season. 
Twitter gave opinions about the many interviews of Modi and Rahul from this election season.  (Photo: The Quint)

Modi a Better Speaker, Rahul More Confident: Twitter on Interviews

As the country is busy voting for its new set of parliamentarians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are busy giving interviews to several media organisations, these Lok Sabha elections.

Many television channels, newspapers and digital platforms have interviewed the leaders. While most of these interviews were political in nature, some of them were, well, ‘apolitical’.

It will be safe to say there were some noticeable differences in the interviews of the two political rivals.

While most interviews of PM Modi were centred around his personal journey, Rahul Gandhi was asked questions on the Rafale deal and the Congress’ NYAY scheme.

The News Nation interviews of both Modi and Gandhi were widely discussed after a video clip from Modi’s interview went viral. The clip suggested that Modi had the questions beforehand.

Many asked why such a friendly interview, with questions on Modi’s fashion and food choices, need to be scripted. However, when News Nation anchor Deepak Chaurasia interviewed Rahul Gandhi two days later, he was asked questions about Rafale, the 1984 Sikh riots and more.

Twitter noticed not only the differences in the questions put forth by the interviewers, but also the contrast between how the questions were handled by the leaders. Tweeple discussed everything from tone, body language to the leaders’ confidence.

For instance, Rahul Gandhi’s interview to Ravish Kumar caught the users’ attention.

Another Twitter user said there was a huge difference between Rahul Gandhi’s interviews in 2019 and those he gave five years back in 2014.

Comments on Rahul Gandhi’s interviews on YouTube also suggested that the politician has been successful in shedding his ‘Pappu’ image.

The Congress president’s first interview this election season was to NDTV’s Sreenivasan Jain on 2 May. Many on the micro-blogging platform found Gandhi to be confident.

Modi Remains the Master Orator, But Rahul’s Confidence Lauded

“Pappu is no longer Pappu now,” said one Twitter user. “Although he's no match for Modi's oratorical skill's, but his extemporaneous is excellent (sic),” he added.

Teleprompters And Scripts

Many Twitter users said Rahul Gandhi’s interviews were more freewheeling. The biggest criticism that Modi seemed to be getting on Twitter was for using teleprompters, and the accusation that his interviews look scripted.

Rally Sidelines vs Studios

Rahul Gandhi, Twitter noticed, gives interviews while campaigning in different states while Modi is seen in controlled studio environments.

Journalist Vir Sanghvi said Rahul Gandhi’s ‘relaxed interviews in daylight on the road or at rallies to reporters” are working well for him.

Was the Times Now interview of Modi during one of his rallies an indication that the PM is also following Gandhi’s trend, a few Twitter users asked.

Body Language

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said Rahul Gandhi looks calm, confident, rational and straight in his interviews. “Contrast with Modi's body language in his speeches: Tired, angry, confused and desperate,” tweeted Bhushan.

Maybe the body language means the Opposition is getting stronger but “will it be enough to drag down Modi,” one Twitter user asked.

Personal/Political Questions

Twitterati could also not help but notice the differences in questions asked to the prime minister and his rival, Rahul Gandhi. The main issue was that while most of Narendra Modi’s interviews revolved around questions about his personal life, Rahul Gandhi was asked about the Sikh riots of 1984, the Rafale deal and corruption.

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