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Ambani bomb case ‘worst’ crisis for a govt, says Mirror Now, NDTV India on ripped jeans

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

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New Delhi: The latest developments in the Ambani bomb threat case consumed prime time debates Monday. However, NewsX which is majorly preoccupied with China, focused on a controversial mega-dam project near Arunachal Pradesh. NDTV India looked at the Uttarakhand Chief Minister’s much talked about remarks on women wearing ripped jeans and ABP News marked one year of the Janata Curfew in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

At Mirror Now, anchor Tanvi Shukla discussed what all channels refer to as the “explosive” Ambani bomb threat case. She listed out three “unanswered questions”:

1) Why were explosives planted near Mukesh Ambani’s residence
2) Why did the Maharashtra government back police officer Sachin Waze without ascertaining the facts, and
3) Did Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar know about the alleged extortion racket?

Vinay Tewari, Managing Editor, Mirror Now, said, “If this is not the biggest and the worst crisis to hit a government of any state, I don’t know what is… I don’t think the politicians are currently realising what damage it does to the image of a state government…”

Referring to former top cop Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, a former commissioner of Mumbai Police, M.N Singh said, “A police officer cannot make such open allegations against a minister unless he’s very sure about it.”

Commenting on Mumbai Police’s “dented” image, Girish Kuber, Editor, Loksatta, added that there has been a “steady deterioration of the police force since 1980s” that introduced the “auctioning of top posts”.

On CNN-News18, anchor Marya Shakil remarked, “There seems to no end in the drama in Maharashtra which started on Saturday when former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to Uddhav Thackeray accusing Home Minister Anil Deshmukh of running an alleged extortion racket.”

Former police officer Yashovardhan Azad was a little shocked. “The political-police-mafia nexus has been in Mumbai for very long but never before has it come out in such a shoddy and sordid way,” he said.

NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto questioned the timing of Singh’s allegations against Deshmukh while BJP leader Tuhin A. Sinha didn’t mince words. “In the last 48 hours, the CM of Maharashtra has not had the basic moral courage to make a statement. Sharad Pawar ji has made two desperate attempts to clear the air but has never sounded more illogical and incoherent,” Sinha said.

NewsX‘s Uday Pratap Singh took a dim view of China’s attempts to “weaponise water” — a reference to China’s approval last week of a controversial hydropower project on the Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to the Arunachal Pradesh border. India has raised concerns over the mega project.

“The dragon is exploiting its geographic location to monopolise the Brahmaputra, forcing India to take counter steps in Arunachal as well as other regions,” he commented.

Former diplomat Deepak Vohra said, “India has just under one fifth of the world’s people”, and very little of the world’s non-saline water. “We’re in trouble if we do not harness our water resources effectively.”

Lawyer and author Yash Johri explained that Beijing’s project plans a “38 gigawatt dam just above Arunachal Pradesh”, in  “pure Tibetan pristine forest”. He added that this will have “massive ecological ramifications and flood management ramifications” for India.

Recently-appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat’s stated disapproval of women wearing ripped jeans prompted anchor Nagma Sahar on NDTV India to wonder if this was a slip of tongue or a calculated political move.

Kamla Bhasin, an activist, said, “The most disappointing this is that people with such opinions can be chosen in the world’s biggest democracy and in the world’s biggest party… I don’t know how such people come to be in politics for 20-odd years, get chosen and dictate such things to women…”

Umakant Lakhera, a journalist and political commentator tried to analyse the CM’s comments: “I know Tirath Singh for some time, he is considered a polite and soft (spoken) politician inside and outside the BJP. So this was considered out of character by people … I think that all politicians should know that they aren’t sitting in a drawing-room when making such comments.”

ABP News dedicated its prime time show to the first anniversary of the Janata Curfew.

Anchor Rubika Liyaqat said, “Today is 22 March — this date is special because exactly a year from today on 22 March 2020 (people) were ringing their utensils, as they observed Janata curfew.”

She said, “At the time, corona had just entered, and no one had thought that one year later, this infection would spread so far and wide and affect so many people and lakhs will die. A lockdown was imposed that also impacted so many lives.”

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