New Delhi: Prime time news Thursday night was preoccupied with the past. On Republic TV, Arnab Goswami recalled the Emergency, imposed by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, on its 45th anniversary — and demanded an apology from the Congress.
Many Hindi channels were also focused on the Gandhi family: BJP’s accusations that Congress President Sonia Gandhi took money from the Chinese government for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in 2005, made them very self-righteous.
There was little by way of updates on the present although NDTV 24×7 did focus on the coronavirus pandemic — yes that.
‘#Apologisefor75’ on Republic TV, was an absolute mess with Goswami playing more coach than anchor — by making arbitrary decisions on who should speak on the show and when.
He began with by debating whether he should involve lawyer Harish Salve in the debate, but then decided against it.
He then let economist Rama Goyal speak because according to Goswami, she had been “sufficiently provoked”.
“Even though Indira Gandhi called the elections, the Emergency wasn’t revoked,” said Goyal.
It seemed like she wanted to add more, but Goswami interrupted with a new line of attack— “The issues was not only Indira Gandhi, but also Sanjay Gandhi”.
Next, he roped in journalist Prem Shankar Jha hoping for more support but when Jha began contradicting him, Goswami said, “Sir, please”.
To which Jha remarked, “One second, I have not spoken a single sentence.” Oops.
The cacophony continued on ABP News, where anchor Rubika Liyaquat discussed BJP’s allegations that the Congress received funds from China.
Among the donors list of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation annual report in 2005-06 clearly shows that it has received a donation from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
We want to know why this donation was taken ? pic.twitter.com/Xe3ynHnjAx
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 25, 2020
Her question of the hour was — “Kyun liya Congress ne China se donation? Rishta kya hai China se? (Why did Congress take donations from China? What are your ties with China?).”
From the Congress corner, Rajiv Tyagi refused to answer her questions and posed a counter question — “Yeh batao, China seema me kaise ghussa? China ne 20 sainik kaise shaheed kar diye? BJP subeh-sham jhooth bol ne ke elawa ek aur kam karte hain– Congress ko gheroa. (Tell me how did China enter Indian borders? How did China kill 20 Indian soldiers? BJP knows how to lie day & night, apart from that it only questions Congress).”
But Liyaquat was relentless in her pursuit of Congress: “Donation mili the ki nahi, aap ye batane ke liye tayyar he ki nahi? (Did you get a donation or not? Are you ready to answer this question or not?)
Tyagi did not answer the questions.
News 18 India, too, discussed the same topic. Anchor Amish Devgan started the show by questioning Congress’ Supriya Shrinate, “JP Nadda ka all attack out Congress ke upar, your first reaction to this?” (What’s your first reaction to J.P. Nadda’s all-out attack on Congress)
Shrinate, in turn, questioned BJP over the satellite images of the Galwan valley.
The debate soon turned into Devgan questioning Shrinate over Congress taking donations and Shrinate questioning BJP over the satellite images.
“JP Nadda keh rahe he, Amit Malviya BJP ke IT cell head, jo ki itne responsible he, wo tweet kar rahe hai, Ravi Shankar Prasad ne bola press conference mein ki Congress party ko ghoos mili (JP Nadda is saying, Amit Malviya of BJP IT cell, who is such a responsible man, he has also tweeted, Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that Congress has taken bribes from China),” said Devgan.
Shrinate, for her part, just couldn’t digest Devgan’s compliments to Malviya– “Amish Devgan shabdon ka chalan bilkul izzat se karyega ( Amish Devgan use words with respect), Aap Amit Malviya ko responsible aadmi mante hain, mein unko fake news ka sargana manti hoon (I consider Amit Malviya head of fake news).”
Moving onto lower volumes, Sreenivasan Jain on NDTV 24×7’s #RealityCheck debated “Covid care price caps: Populism or practical?”
In the past few days, several state governments have capped the price of Covid-19 treatment, in response to reports that private hospitals were charging an exorbitant amount for treatment.
Jain asked, “Is it possible to provide the quality of treatment you were giving earlier now with the price caps?”
Dr Vivek Nangia, Principal Director, Respiratory and Critical Care, Max Hospital said, “Capping the price right now is tantamount to demonising private healthcare.”
Nangia underscored that now was the time to support both private and public healthcare.
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