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Shah’s strike rate better than Didi’s, says ABP’s Awasthi & why Kamal Haasan does Bigg Boss

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

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New Delhi: It was quite a hectic day for news channels as they travelled across the country for their prime time shows — from the poll-bound West Bengal and Tamil Nadu assembly polls to Delhi where a sessions court awarded death sentence to Batla House encounter convict, and to Maharashtra that is witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Sumit Awasthi on ABP News had the unusual idea of presenting Amit Shah’s and Mamata Banerjee’s strike rates—and no, they’re not playing cricket. On News 18 India, Amish Devgan found his mojo in “encounter politics for appeasement”.

“Two big leaders are face to face in Bengal, it’s Didi vs Shah now” was the ABP show on which Awasthi pitted Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s strike rate against that of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“BJP won in three states in 2014 out of the total four states that had gone into elections when Amit Shah was the BJP president. This comes down to 75 per cent. In 2015, BJP lost both Bengal and Delhi, so his strike rate came to zero. In 2016, Shah’s strike rate was around 20 per cent because BJP won only one state out of five. In 2018, BJP won four out of nine states, so Amit Shah’s strike rate was 44 per cent. In 2019, his strike rate was 67 per cent as BJP won two out of three states. Last year, BJP won in Bihar, lost in Delhi, hence his strike rate is 50 per cent,” the anchor calculated.

“Mamata Banerjee has fought four elections — she lost 2001 and 2006. In 2011 and 2016, she managed to form a government,” Awasthi said.

“Amit Shah is ahead of Mamata in the strike rate — Shah’s is 53 per cent, Mamata’s is at 50 per cent. In the Bengal polls, the face-off between Shah and Banerjee is going to be interesting. If Mamata is a street fighter, then Shah is the Chanakya of BJP,” Awasthi proclaimed.

At News18 India, anchor Amish Devgan wanted to know “Should the religion of criminals be announced for the sake of highlighting politics — for playing the appeasement card?” He claimed Asaduddin Owaisi, president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, has said out of the total number of encounters that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh, 37 per cent involved Muslims.

“Owaisi has questioned this ‘injustice’ in UP.  So, now for vote banks, the religion of criminals will also be taken into consideration?” asked Devgan.

“However, this story is not new,” he added as he recalled Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who had reportedly said Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi wept looking at the pictures of the Batla House encounter.

“The question remains — why sympathy politics in the name of criminals?” Devgan asked.

India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai ventured out of the TV studio and travelled to Tamil Nadu that goes to the polls on 6 April. He caught up with mega star Kamal Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Malam party that is contesting the upcoming elections.

Sardesai couldn’t find words to describe his guest. “When I wanted to introduce you this time, I wasn’t sure whether you wanted us to start with your avatar as a star or your avatar now as a politician. Is Kamal Haasan a full-time politician where stardom is incidental?”

Haasan asserted that it would be ‘pertinent’ to first see him as a politician. However, he added, “I think nobody is full-time anything… In our party, most of us have their own professions. But politics is the mission and passion.”

Sardesai was reminded of Tamil Nadu’s former chief minister M.G. Ramachandran (commonly known as MGR), who gave up cinema as politics became his full-time occupation and profession.

“You’ll also do Big Boss (TV reality show), cinema and now during election time you’ll put forward your claims as a politician?” Sardesai asked Haasan.

The actor-politician replied: “That’s exactly what MGR did. He was an MLA. After becoming an MLA, he did more than 50 films.”

He then added: “I think the reason why I am doing Big Boss and other films is to finance the party.”

Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami made note of a Delhi sessions court awarding the death penalty to Ariz Khan Monday. Khan had been convicted in the 2008 Batla House encounter case in New Delhi. In the incident, Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, Delhi Police Special Cell, was killed.

Goswami recalled, “It was on 19 September 2008 that the Delhi Police got a tip-off on the terrorist behind the serial blast that had rocked Delhi and killed 39 people.”

Since then, Goswami claimed, the last 12 years have seen “a saga of villainising our cops, diminishing the sacrifice of Mohan Chand Sharma who took two bullets, labelling the encounter as fake and erasing terror antecedents of the Indian Mujahideen terrorists at Batla (in the) the most twisted and heinous form of vote bank politics.”

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