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Zakka Jacob on horse-trading allegations against Lalu, Sudhir Chaudhury goes back to Hathras

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

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New Delhi: There was plenty of variety on prime time Wednesday as debates went from updates on Cyclone Nivar, which made landfall in Puducherry early this morning, to the allegations made against RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav for allegedly attempting to poach BJP MLAs.

NDTV 24×7 anchor Vishnu Som discussed the rescue and relief preparations for Cyclone Nivar.

“One of the main things that will be required in the aftermath of the cyclone is the flood relief team and the diving team. We have got one diving team on standby in Chennai and one in INS Purandu so from both the sides we can reach all the areas,” said Puneet Chawla, Rear Admiral of the Indian Navy.

Dr Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, remarked how the Indian Ocean is becoming more and more fatal as a result of global warming.

“Just before the monsoon we had local swarms coming in due to changing weather patterns and then back to back cyclones in the Indian ocean — Nisarga and Amphan. And then changing monsoon patterns…Some of the cyclones in the recent period are intensifying quite rapidly,” he said.

CNN-News18 debated the purported conversation between Lalu Prasad Yadav and BJP MLA Lallan Kumar Paswan. Lalu, who is currently in judicial custody in Ranchi, allegedly asked Paswan to refrain from voting in the assembly Speaker’s election Wednesday.

“There is Lalu Prasad, a person who’s been convicted in the fodder scam, supposedly in jail. How is he indulging in what seems, at least on the face of it, rampant horse trading?” wondered anchor Zakka Jacob.

Prior to the debate, Paswan, in an interview to Jacob, said, “I was shocked that the same Lalu Prasad who was believed to be a social justice warrior, who’s in politics because of this democratic system is now making fun of that democracy. He thought this man is a poor Dalit that’s why we should buy him.”

Anwar Hussain, a spokesperson for the RJD, said, “I don’t understand why the media is so serious about a nonsense issue. See the difference between Paswan who is talking on the phone and the one who spoke to you now. Two different people are appearing here.”

Meanwhile, on Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary analysed the ‘media revolution’ that had played out in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district in October, where a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang raped and brutally assaulted.

Chaudhary asked why silence had now prevailed in Hathras, after a number of politicians, media personnel, opposition parties and social activists had flocked to the village in October.

“Everyone took pictures and videos with the victim’s family, media channels and politicians were competing with each other over bringing justice to the family. Where are they now?” he asked.

The channel aired a follow-up report from Hathras and spoke to the victim’s family and the villagers on how they were still waiting for justice.

Aaj Tak’s anchor Anjana Om Kashyap discussed the recently passed ordinance against ‘love jihad’ in Uttar Pradesh. The ordinance provides for an imprisonment of 1-10 years and a fine of Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000 under different categories.

Kashyap asked BJP’s Sudhanshu Trivedi whether the intention behind the ordinance is to stop any Hindu from converting to another religion.

In response, Trivedi noted that India is the only country where the number of minorities (Muslims) have grown significantly after Partition.

“We don’t want forceful conversion. The Kerala High Court had also expressed concern over increasing cases of love jihad and said that girls from both the Hindu and Christian communities are being targeted,” he added.

However, political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla was having none of it and argued that there is nothing called ‘love jihad’.

“If a girl falls in love with a guy and wants to get married, won’t she check the family background of the boy and his religion before making an important decision of her life,” he asked.

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