“I was not the prime minister who was afraid of talking to the press,” said former prime minister Manmohan Singh on December 18 – an implicit jab at Narendra Modi, who has not addressed a single press conference in the four years of his term.
Speaking at the launch of a five-volume collection of his writings and speeches titled Changing India, Singh pushed back against critics who enjoyed referring to him as “Maunmohan”, or the “silent” prime minister, or even an “accidental” one.
“I used to meet the press regularly and on every foreign trip I undertook,” he said. “I would have a press conference in the plane itself or immediately after landing,”
In contrast, Modi’s contempt for the press has meant that he has only given exclusive interviews to fawning media representatives – and avoided any real, critical questioning from journalists.

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