Rahul Gandhi's comment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's New Year interview was "staged" and done by a "pliable journalist" drew a sharp riposte from Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who called him the "Grandson of the Emergency Dictator".
In tweets this morning, Arun Jaitley said: "The Grandson of the Emergency dictator' displays his real DNA - attacks and intimidates an independent editor."
The Grandson of the 'Emergency dictator' displays his real DNA - attacks and intimidates an independent Editor.- Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) January 3, 2019
While attacking PM Modi over the Rafale jet deal, Rahul Gandhi had referred to his exclusive interview to ANI editor Smita Prakash on January 1.
"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. You saw the prime minister's interview yesterday...matlab pliable journalist, she was asking questions and was even giving answers."
The Congress president had also referred to the interview during the Rafale debate in the parliament earlier: "The nation is asking why the Prime Minister can speak for one-and-a-half hour in a staged interview and not answer fundamental questions on Rafale."
Smita Prakash called Mr Gandhi's comments a "cheap shot" in a tweet.
Dear 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.— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) January 2, 2019
The National Union of Journalists has also protested Mr Gandhi's comments on the ANI editor.