New Delhi, Aug. 24: The usually media-shy Sonia Gandhi today surprised journalists when she joined them for a chat after the opening of the National Media Centre in Delhi.
“Yes, of course, 100 per cent,” Sonia said, asked if the UPA would return to power.
As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left for Parliament directly after the inauguration, the Congress president gestured to her SPG guards to wait at a distance while she walked up to the journalists, who quickly surrounded her and threw a volley of questions.
Brief and to the point, she answered most.
Asked about the possibility of early general elections, Sonia said: “Our aim is to go till the end (of the government’s full tenure).”
To a question on the delay in the food security bill, she said: “We are hopeful that it will be passed during the ongoing session.” The interaction lasted about 15 minutes.
Sonia expressed grief over the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai, and said she was “deeply saddened and shocked”.
Earlier, addressing the gathering during the formal session, Sonia said there was need to highlight any shortcomings in government policies and that the media had to be “the government’s enemy”.
“We welcome the watchdog role of the media,” the UPA chairperson said, adding it strengthened democracy.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister highlighted the exponential growth in Indian media since the 1990s. He expressed confidence the media would not be found wanting in efforts to consolidate India as an inclusive and progressive society.
“A witch-hunt is no substitute for investigative journalism. At the end of day, credibility is media’s currency,” Singh said.