rahul gandhi
[File Photo] Congress President Rahul Gandhi.Reuters

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of giving pre-scripted interviews, claiming his response to real questions would have been an "embarrassment for all".

In a tweet, the Congress President said: "The first Indian Prime Minister who takes 'spontaneous' questions that the translator has pre-scripted answers to."

"Good that he doesn't take real questions... Would have been a real embarrassment for us all if he did," he added, attaching a video where the translator is heard purportedly reading out a scripted answer.

PM Narendra Modi calls for equal access in Indo-Pacific

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for equal access at sea and in the air for all Asian countries at a major defence conference on Friday, but avoided singling out China's claims to the hotly contested South China Sea.

Modi outlined his regional vision at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, attended by defence chiefs from over 40 countries, including U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The Indian leader's visit to Southeast Asia, which he described as the centre of a new era of cooperation in a region that spanned the coast of Africa to the U.S. West Coast, comes amid growing unease about China's growing naval assertiveness.

The region is also caught up in what could be a global trade conflict after the U.S. Trump administration said it would follow through on its threat of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each.

"India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or a club of limited members ... and by no means do we consider it directed at any country," Modi said in a keynote address to the forum.