New Delhi: Mumbai’s politician-police nexus dominated prime time but the unruly scenes at the Bihar Assembly managed a guest appearance. And yes, some channels also remembered the poll-bound states of Assam and West Bengal.
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh asked the police to collect ‘hafta’ from the city’s establishments, and the BJP’s demands for Deshmukh’s resignation have been headline news this past week. Times Now called it ‘Vasooli Gate’.
“India today has a new investigative agency — FBI (Fadnavis Bureau of Investigation) and what it has struck today will make Maharashtra government quiver like a tuning fork,” commented author Anand Ranganathan, caustically. “I think the Supreme Court has no choice but to step in. This is not something the CBI should handle. Either the corrupt politicians have to go, or the corrupt policeman,” he added.
Political analyst Sundar Balakrishnan argued, “In each and every state, police transfers are politically motivated.” Author Shefali Vaidya said, “It looks like the whole police force is corrupt from top to bottom in Maharashtra. The state police was playing politics of transfers even when the coronavirus outbreak was at its peak in July 2020.”
On India Today, anchor Rajdeep Sardesai also discussed the “Posting Racket” in Maharashtra and Fadnavis’ comments on the case of senior police officer Rashmi Shukla who was, allegedly, transferred for pointing out malpractice in the system.
National Congress Party’s Clyde Crasto defended the Maharashtra government: “Fact of the matter is, allegations have been made about money being given for transfers. Several people on Shukla’s list haven’t even been transferred. No action was taken because nothing of what she has alleged has happened.”
“Param Bir Singh has become persona non grata for Anil Deshmukh,” countered BJP spokesperson Sanju Verma. “Why should the BJP want the Maharashtra government to topple? The Maha Vasooli Agadhi is doing very well — corruption is getting stinkier by the day,” she added, sarcastically.
Former IPS officer Y.P. Singh turned the tables on the BJP: “The best of the police officers were pushed to the worst of the positions even in the BJP government.”
Meanwhile, NDTV 24×7 discussed the ruckus in and outside the Bihar Assembly where MLAs were beaten up after the situation became unruly over the new police bill introduced by the Nitish Kumar government.
“Does the opposition not have the right to give their views in a democracy? We wanted the bill to be passed, democratically, but that doesn’t mean that the entire police force is called (in),” complained Akhtarul Islam Shahin, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Senior Janta Dal United (JDU) leader Syed Afzal Abbas agreed but with a caveat: “I have never seen this in my political career. In a democracy, everyone has the right to express their opinion. Why fight instead of discussing and debating?”
On Aaj Tak, anchor Sayeed Ansari turned to Bengal and lit into the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: “Mamata has started her broken leg politics.”
He added: “Mamata has said the BJP didn’t want her to want to do election campaigning but she won’t give up.”
Ansari then spoke to BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya and complimented him.
“The first phase (of the election) is here — six years of your hard work.”
He added: “After tomorrow, the campaigning will stop. Mamata Banerjee has played a very emotional card, we Indians are very sentimental. What if the people of Bengal get emotional that you have broken Didi’s leg, hurt her neck, shoulders and back and you incur a loss due to it?”
Vijayvargiya replied, “I want to thank the country’s media for exposing this conspiracy — a report also had to be presented before the Election Commission that this was an accident.”
‘Janta’ knows everything, he added.
“Does the opposition have an answer to BJP’s CAA strategy?” Deepak Chaurasia asked the viewers on NewsNation.
“Finally now, there will be voting on this issue — the way the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed and the way it became an issue, everyone has seen. Two states — Assam and West Bengal — have infiltration issues,” the anchor explained.
“Illegal immigrants are in both Assam and Bengal. You tell me, unlike Bengal, why you haven’t promised in Assam, that in the very first cabinet meeting, CAA will be implemented?” Chaurasia asked BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia.
“Today, we released the party manifesto in Assam. CAA is an old demand which the BJP fulfilled. BJP President J.P. Nadda today stated that CAA will also be implemented in Assam and that the rules will come very soon,” replied Bhatia.
“When Manmohan Singh was the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, he had himself advocated for the CAA. Congress is now against this law because the party considers Muslims a vote bank,” he added.