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Aaj Tak on public’s irresponsible Covid behaviour, Mirror Now worries about NCT Bill

A quick take on what prime time TV news talked about.

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New Delhi: Rising Covid-19 cases, the passage of the NCT Bill in Parliament, ruckus in the Bihar assembly, electoral bonds, the continuing crisis in the Maharashtra government and the ever murkier Ambani bomb scare case — prime time Wednesday was overwhelmed with choices.

On Mirror Now’s The Urban Debate, anchor Tanvi Shukla tried to cover as much ground as she could: the NCT Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, the electoral bonds and the ruckus in the Bihar assembly.

On the NCT Bill, Shukla said, “The passage of this bill gives powers to the Lt Governor which would otherwise lie with the Delhi government. A part of the debate between Lt. Governor and Delhi government is still pending in the Supreme Court but the Centre has decided not to wait and instead passed its own law…”

On the issue of releasing fresh electoral bonds, which is being challenged in the Supreme Court, Shukla spoke to advocate Aman Sinha who said, “Electoral bonds are a substantial move ahead from the olden days of cash which was in free-flow during elections. It is a major improvement from where we were and this is something which all of us should be welcoming.”

Moving swiftly on to the ruckus in the Bihar Assembly over the passage of the police bill Tuesday, an outraged Chitranjan Gagan of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal said, “The opposition should be given a chance to speak — especially on a bill that’s against the spirit of democracy and India’s parliamentary framework. Such a law is being passed without debate in Parliament on the whim of the government.”

After the Supreme Court refused to entertain the petition filed by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh in the Sachin Waze case, Aman Chopra on Zee News discussed the current crisis in the Maharashtra government and Mumbai’s police force.

BJP’s Prem Shukla pointed to the Maharashtra government’s “double standards” — “This is the same government that was hailing Sachin Waze and Param Bir Singh as able officers.”

Shiv Sena’s Kishore Tiwari termed the episode as a conspiracy to defame the Maharashtra government: “…it is happening on the direction of the central government. There is no truth in the claims of extortion of money.” Param Bir Singh has alleged that police officers were collecting ‘hafta’ from many private establishments at the behest of state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

NCP’s Mahesh Tapase said the battle between executives and administration is not good for the state and the country. The matter was taken seriously by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

On CNN News 18’s News, anchor Marya Shakil also debated the crisis in Maharashtra but BJP spokesperson Sanju Verma stole the show with her aggressive series of questions and answers: “Who did Sachin Waze report to? Param Bir Singh. Who did Param Bir Singh report to? Anil Deshmukh. Who’s Deshmukh’s political boss? Sharad Pawar. Who is Deshmukh’s boss within the government? Uddhav Thackeray. Article 375 (3) of the Indian Constitution says if the bonafides of the head of the central or state government is questioned then the head of the government should lead by example and step down.”

In Aaj Tak’s Dangal, Rohit Sardana chose to cover the rising coronavirus cases. He spoke to All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director Dr Randeep Guleria about the new variants of Covid-19.

Guleria said the new variants could be more infectious as per latest studies, but there is no clear data available in the country as of now.

He added that increase in cases are also due to the lax attitude of the public. “Covid-appropriate behaviour has almost ended… people are thinking that now the vaccine is here so we do not need to wear masks or follow social distancing norms.”

Sardana asked why the government had put a cap of 45 years of age for the vaccination drive and had not opened it up more. Guleria replied that even if we source the vaccine from across the world, it is not possible to get 200 crore vaccines. “Our adult population is near 100 crore and every person needs two doses, therefore we need to prioritise,” he added.

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