G20 Summit: Congress Accuses Government of Limiting Questions After Biden-Modi Talks

G20 Summit: The US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met bilaterally in Delhi ahead of the G20 Summit, but the Congress said on Friday that Joe Biden’s team claimed the government forbade questions from the media to be directed at them. Biden, who arrived in Delhi on Friday night, will attend the G20 Summit on Saturday and Sunday at the recently constructed Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan.

Congress Claims Media Access Denied in Biden-Modi Meeting

“President Biden’s team says despite multiple requests India has not allowed media to ask questions of him and PM Modi after their bilateral meeting,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh wrote on X. “President Biden will now take questions in Vietnam on September 11 from the media accompanying him. Not surprising at all. This is how democracy is done Modi-style,” he said. Media access to bilateral discussions held outside of important conferences like the G20 is typically restricted. In the meantime, a number of world leaders started travelling to Delhi to attend the G20 Summit, which is taking place for the first time in South Asia and India. The G20 is currently being presided over by India. When the President met PM Modi at his official house on Friday, reporters who were with Biden were requested to wait outside. Artificial intelligence (AI), defence, the enlargement of the UN Security Council, and other topics were discussed by both presidents.

Biden’s ‘Pool’ of Reporters Join Bilateral Meetings

Biden is accompanied by a “pool” of White House reporters who attend the start of face-to-face bilateral meetings. They hear opening remarks, snap a few pictures, and ask a few questions. Speaking to journalists on board Air Force One as it was transporting Biden to India, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The President believes the free press is the pillar of our democracy.” “We, in the US government, work hard to ensure and obtain access for US journalists to everything the President does,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. “What we can pledge to you is what’s in our control — which is ensuring that we are transparent and comprehensive in our readout of what the two leaders discussed,” he added.

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