Author of ‘The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi’ Journalist Neena Gopal exclusively on NewsX

23 May, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

A day after Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary, NewsX chats exclusively with author and journalist Neena Gopal, the last journalist to interview former PM

A day after Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, NewsX chats exclusively with author and journalist Neena Gopal. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was last interviewed by journalist Neena Gopal.

In her book ‘The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi,’ Neena recounted the entire story of her encounter with the former Prime Minister.

While speaking with NewsX, Neena recalls catching a peek of Rajiv Gandhi’s interview, which was shot before Gandhi’s assassination rally. She claims the interview was not well-organized. However, the day was significant because the Tamil Nadu Congress chairman warned Gopal to be cautious.

According to Gopal, the Tamil Nadu chief’s statement about being cautious and the sudden security alert seemed to alarm them, and they were probably not prepared for the assassination. “They would have expected something but not the assassination” she remarked.

Rajiv spilled the beans on reaching out to former Pakistan President Zia ul Haq during the 45-minute conversation, according to Gopal.

Neena also remembers how Rajiv Gandhi was also curious to know about Nawaz Sharif, she says “He knew that I have just taken the interview of Pakistan PM before reaching Delhi and he asked me what kind of guy is he as he heard that he is very slippery. However, I stated that he can try doing business with him.”

Neena goes on to say that Rajiv Gandhi said something that has stuck with her all these years, a response to her question that he doesn’t have much security because everyone is reaching out to him. Rajiv responds by asking her if she has observed how every single South Asian leader, from Indira Gandhi to Zia Ul Haq, has passed away.

However, the tragedy was so that Rajiv Gandhi was gone after 10 minutes of his reply and interview, according to Neena, but the question remained with her.

Neena Gopal remarks that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was the epitome of lack of security.