This is with reference to Times Now channel’s Newshour debate @ 9:30pm , 1st April 2014
Topic: Amethi LS poll [#AmethiFaceOff]
Panelists: Smriti Irani[BJP], CR Kesavan [INC], Saba Naqvi [Journalist] & Gaurav Bhatia [SP].
Anchor: Arnab Goswami
During the course of the debate, Arnab directed the debate towards how SP and Congress indulge in matchfixing when it comes to putting up candidates against each other’s star leaders/families. He grilled CR Kesavan and Gaurav Bhatia on this issue, with specific reference to Kannauj. The thing he kept harping was that INC DID NOT put up any candidate against Dimple Yadav in the 2012 Kannauj by-election. Saba also mentioned that in an interview with Akhilesh Yadav 10 days or so ago, Akhilesh had mentioned to her about this arrangement [of not putting up candidates in amethi/rae bareilly as a quid pro quo for Kannauj].
Considering the fact that BJP is campaigning on a Congress mukt bharat platform, wherein one understands that they dont want to indulge in stuff that the INC has mastered, i found it very surprising that at no point in the debate, Arnab made any effort to set the record straight to the millions of viewers watching the show. This was wilful misrepresentation and hiding of facts.
What he conveniently or deliberately forgot to mention was that in 2012 in Kannauj, not only did the INC not field a candidate, even the BJP’s candidate quite conveniently missed filing his nomination at the last minute. BSP also did not put up any candidate.
Records show that Dimple was declared elected “unopposed”.
Here are few questions I would like to raise:
- Why did Arnab Goswami fool his viewers by projecting this as a INC SP match fixing?
- Why did he forget to mention to his viewers that BJP was also a part of the match fixing?
- Is it not the job of a journalist to present the full facts of a particular case?
Lots of viewers got the mistaken impression that only INC SP do this match fixing. And by not mentioning about the BJP [as well as BSP] he is definitely guilty of hiding the complete truth and facts pertaining to this case, from his viewers. In fact, one can almost interpret it as a deliberate act not to sully the image of BJP on this matter.
Since there was no BSP representative on the panel, one can understand him not mentioning that even BSP did not put up any candidate in Kannauj. But the same does not apply to the BJP as Smriti Irani was very much a part of the show.
Are we to conclude that Arnab does not research an issue properly [in this case it does not take too much research to find out HOW Dimple was elected and HOW ALL parties and independents either refused to file nominations or withdrew at the last minute].
Some links to Kannauj by-elections:
I have sent a mail to
- Ms. Jyothi Suresh Kumar, DGM Legal & Company Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- News Desk, Times Now (email@example.com)
- Arnab Goswami (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- News Broadcasters Association of India
- Press Council of India