New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has hit back at Congress President Rahul Gandhi for saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s television interview was conducted by a “pliable journalist”. (Also read: Mission 123 Back on Track, PM Modi to Tour 20 States in 100 Days)

Taking to Twitter, Jaitley accusing Rahul of “intimidating an independent editor”. The interview was conducted by ANI editor Smita Prakash. He said “The Grandson of Emergency dictator displays his real DNA  — attacks and intimidates an independent editor.”

He went on to ask, “Why are the pseudo liberals silent? Waiting for the Editors guild’s response.”

The Editors guild may not have responded by the National Union of Journalists (India) did react to Rahul’s charges. It tweeted, “Shooting the messenger!! Not done Mr @RahulGandhi, cheap stunt at your press conference to attack @smitaprakash who was asking questions not answering. Go ahead fight @narendramodi @arunjaitley @BJP4India but its unbecoming of President @INCIndia to ridicule the @ANI interviewer.” 

On Wednesday, the Congress had held a press conference where Rahul had told reporters, “He (Modi) does not have the guts to come and sit in front of you. And I am coming here… you can ask me any question… I come here once in seven-ten days… and you saw the Prime Minister’s interview yesterday…matlab pliable journalist, woh question bi kar rahi thi, pradhan mantri ka answer bi de rahi thi, side mein (she was asking questions as well as giving answers).”

Smita Prakash also reacted to Rahul’s outburst and tweeted, “Mr Rahul Gandhi, cheap shot at your press conference to attack me. I was asking questions not answering. You want to attack Mr Modi, go ahead but downright absurd to ridicule me. Not expected of a president of the oldest political party in the country.”

The BJP has demanded an apology from Rahul. BJP’s national media head and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni has said, “This has been the Congress’s mindset about independent journalism. Rahul Gandhi’s DNA is of the Emergency. His party has a history of throttling journalism. He should apologise to the country’s journalists for his petty remarks.”