New Delhi: Prime time Monday went everywhere from the Bihar poll campaigns to Mehbooba Mufti’s actions in Jammu & Kashmir after her release from detention. Meanwhile, Mirror Now’s Tanvi Shukla addressed an issue that barely makes it to prime time news — an increase in cases of child marriage.
First, to Patna, where Aaj Tak anchor Anjana Om Kashyap hosted a special edition of Prime Time. “The temperature of the country’s politics has increased with Bihar elections. Congress and government are engaged in a massive tussle as Sonia Gandhi has said that India’s democracy is in danger,” Kashyap said.
“Sonia Gandhi said that you are employing every institution in the country to attack the Opposition,” she said to the BJP’s Sudhanshu Trivedi. He dodged the question and replied that it was in Bihar itself that the JP Movement started, back in the 1970s, referring to Jayaprakash Narayan’s revolt against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency.
Kashyap saw right through his little nod to history and said, “I don’t understand, Sudhanshu ji. I don’t usually interrupt you, but Sir. I can hardly understand the context of your answer today.” She added, “The debate is not on history, it’s on the present.”
India Today, too, was consumed by the Bihar Assembly election. Ankit Tyagi also brought a ground report from Bihar, painting a pretty grim picture for Nitish Kumar. “The anger and resentment against CM Nitish Kumar in this election is very much visible and palpable on the ground,” he said. “In the past, his ‘Sushasan Babu’ and ‘Vikas Purush’ image (one who is known for delivering law and order and development) was enough to bank on during the elections. But in this election, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his popularity that the NDA is banking upon to touch the finishing line.”
The channel’s Rahul Kanwal, on another show, was concerned about Nitish Kumar’s apparent anger management issues. Kanwal pointed out, “Rally after rally, Nitish Kumar is losing his temper in his own speech in front of people who come to listen to him.”
“Nitish Kumar ko iss election mein ko itna gussa kyun aata hai?” (Why is Nitish Kumar so angry in these elections?), Kanwal asked, holding his hands up.
Over on News Nation, Deepak Chaurasia focused on former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on the national flag and how she would not fly it until Article 370 was restored. She and the Abdullahs are fighting to reinstate Article 370 and have even formed an alliance to do so. Chaurasia, on his show, asked, “Who is doing anti-national work under the garb of Article 370?” The channel also helpfully ran a caption asking: “Sympathisers of 370 or of Pakistan?”
“Why shouldn’t a sedition case be lodged against those disrespecting the tricolour? Time and again, Mehbooba Mufti and the Abdullah family have disrespected the tiranga,” Chaurasia said.
“These people have taken a lot of money from Delhi and filled their pockets. Why is the BJP silent?” Chaurasia asked the BJP’s Sambit Patra.
“Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has issued a notice that action must be taken against Mehbooba Mufti, a sedition case should be lodged,” Patra said, adding, “It is a seditious act, Mehbooba Mufti has an allergy to the national flag.”
CNN-News18’s Shreya Dhoundial hosted a panel to discuss the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the US, at which a key defence deal is expected to be signed. “Military level talks have not gone anywhere… Diplomatic talks have happened and they are not going anywhere either, now we have the 2+2 dialogue with the Americans,” she said.
Dhoundial asked former diplomat K.C. Singh, “There is talk of growing defence cooperation with India and China. If the current conflict with China escalates, do you see America fighting by India’s side?”
Singh was not optimistic either, saying, “President Trump has been downgrading the relationship with NATO allies, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. It is more of a leading from behind kind of approach. They would sell weapons, they would share intelligence, but essentially, Trump wants the countries in Indo-Pacific region to carry the load.”