New Delhi: Prime time debates Thursday were focused on politics, but some news channels also discussed the Income Tax department’s raids on filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu.
On India Today, anchor Rahul Kanwal debated the exit of V. Sasikala from Tamil Nadu politics and what this would mean for both the DMK and the AIADMK’s fortunes.
Senior journalist T.S. Sudhir said, “2+2 is not necessarily four in politics, especially in Tamil Nadu where there is an alphabet soup of political parties. How Dhinakaran (Sasikala’s nephew) reacts to this new situation will determine where they (AIADMK) go from here.”
DMK leader A. Saravan said, “There is no worry… Sasikalas may come and Sasikalas may go, because we have been attacking this AIADMK government headed by Edapaddi Palanisami and O Panneerselvam… if you look at what’s happening in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is a de facto BJP rule.”
On CNN News18, anchor Marya Shakil asked if the I-T raid on actor Taapsee Pannu and director Anurag Kashyap was ‘Enforcement or Vendetta?’
Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said, “Whoever is not critical of this government is let loose.”
She gave examples of alleged irregularities committed by Karnataka’s Reddy brothers and BJP Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and said, “You cannot have one rule for one and another rule for another.”
BJP leader Tuhin Sinha said, “The law takes its own course, we have not been vindictive. The tax authorities do their own job.”
NDTV 24×7 anchor Sreenivasan Jain debated US-based think tank Freedom House downgrading India’s democratic rating from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’.
“What happened in Kashmir, if that is repeated on a national scale, we are clearly headed towards an Emergency,” said Ashutosh Varshney, political science professor at Brown University in the US.
Political analyst P.K.D. Nambiar disagreed: “Report (on India’s democratic backslide) are meant to target the image of an emerging power like India.”
Zee News anchor Aditi Tyagi discussed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statement from 2 March in which he compared RSS schools to radical madarsas — Tyagi said Rahul Gandhi was speaking the language of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Union Minister of State Gen. (retired) V.K. Singh asked Rahul Gandhi to attend one of the RSS’ schools to see what actually happens there. “If you want to become the president of India’s oldest political party, you should not say anything without thinking carefully. But Rahul Gandhi’s thoughts and speeches make no sense,” Singh added.
Congress leader Mudit Agarwal wryly commented that the full form of RSS is “rumour spreading society”.