New Delhi: There’s a pandemic for the world to tackle, but news channels preferred to discuss the political ills of the Congress after newly-appointed BJP member Jyotiraditya Scindia’s departure.
Zee News anchor Sudhir Chaudhary, for once chose to be different: He described a rather novel concept, and no, it wasn’t the novel coronavirus, it was ‘Zameen Jihad’.
Sudhir Chaudhary was rather pleased with himself for bringing ‘Zameen Jihad’ to viewers’ notice. He said, “While the media is busy concentrating on Scindia’s political moves, there is a larger news here but no one is speaking about it because it doesn’t suit the media’s agenda.”
Perplexed viewers waited before Chaudhary continued — “Just like love jihad, our country is also witness to zameen jihad in Jammu and Kashmir.”
“Sarkari zameen par kabza kar ke aabadi ka dharam ke aadhaar par badal dene ki saajish ki jaa rahi hai,” (Some people are playing the trick of capturing the government’s land to change the population in terms of religion) he added.
To support his astounding claims, Chaudhary mumbled something about a Roshni Act but thereafter only he knew what he was talking about but it sounded divisive and dangerous. He presented a chart to explain the alleged plot which was far too complicated to understand.
Aaj Tak’s anchor Rohit Sardana seemed in love with rhymes. Sardana asked, “Congress bachegi ya jaayegi” (Will the Congress survive or leave). To which, Rajesh Badal, journalist, said, “People will stay united with Scindia. At the same time, BJP is also faced with some challenges.”
Sardana was relentless with his poetry, “Agar Congress mauka nahi deti toh BJP chauka kaise lagati” (If Congress hadn’t presented the opportunity, how would the BJP have succeeded?). Chetan Singh, Congress leader, was rather emotional in his reply, “It is easy to accuse the people… a party leader is like a mother-like figure for its workers. You can’t leave it during difficult times.”
NDTV India welcomed back Yashodhara Raje, BJP leader and Jyotiraditya Scindia’s aunt for the second consecutive day. Asked about how she viewed Scindia’s move, she said like a fond aunt, “We welcome him. His leadership is valued and so is his capability. His political experience will prove to be a win-win for both the BJP and himself.”
Referring to Scindia’s loyalty to the Congress party for 18 years, Raje added, “If you take a decision after 18 years, one must realise that the situation must be very grave.”
At CNN News 18, anchor Marya Shakil interviewed Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi, one of the party’s young leaders, like Scindia. Shakil asked, “We have seen you with Scindia and Rahul together. Is this a sense of betrayal or are you of the opinion that this is a huge loss?”
Gogoi said in a matter-of-fact manner, “I am not going to justify and label this decision. He has made his path, he has to take responsibility for it now”. Chanting the Congress mantra, Gogoi continued, “The party needs Rahul Gandhi to take the forefront now.”
Shakil didn’t look entirely convinced.
NDTV 24×7’s anchor Vishnu Som explained that a lot of rebel Madhya Pradesh MLAs claimed that they weren’t necessarily affiliated to the BJP. They had left the party for Scindia. “Where does this leave the BJP?” he asked
L. Kumaramangalam, BJP, made a fairly anodyne statement: “It is too soon to speculate on where they will end up. But they have made their loyalties clear that they will be with Jyotiraditya Scindia.”
“However, it would be unfair to not expect Congress to fight back at the last moment,” she added.
India Today’s anchor Preeti Choudhary asserted, “It seems as of now that if the strength of the house comes down with the resignation of 22 MLAs, then the target is more achievable by the BJP.”
In a pointed question to Sanjay Jha, Congress spokesperson, Choudhary asked, “If this vacuum continues in the top leadership… are you building up right now on losing other states?”
Jha answered confidently: “We will be there in Madhya Pradesh. Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh will get the numbers. The larger point here is that this is a manifestation of political immorality at its worst.”
Times Now anchor Navika Kumar was, as usual, dramatic in her line of questioning, “Is Scindia joining the Modi and Shah team, proof that the Modi model is most credible?”
Tehseen Poonawalla, political analyst was unsympathetic to Scindia: “The only thing that wasn’t granted to Scindia was the president of Congress in MP… Apart from this, Scinida got everything. If he feels that in 18 years, 8 promotions isn’t good enough, then all the best to him.”