Cracks appear to be beginning to appear in the opposition bloc with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar openly rejecting the alliance’s decision to boycott programs and events by 14 television journalists and news anchors.
“I am not against journalists and it is wrong to boycott them. Why should I boycott? I am for journalists. Look, if journalists had complete freedom, they would write whatever they think is right and appropriate. Can journalists be kept under control? Have I ever had any control over journalists? I am not against anyone,” Kumar said.
He, however, mentioned that he was not aware of the boycott of TV news anchors by the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), a Congress-led group of 28 opposition parties.
Kumar highlighted that certain people in power at the Center may have influenced or controlled some people, which may have led to actions like boycott of 14 television journalists and anchors by some members of INDIA.
After the first meeting of the INDIA Coordination Committee, it was decided to authorize its media group to prepare a list of news anchors. This list included presenters whose broadcasts did not feature representatives of any of the INDIA parties, suggesting a collective decision by the alliance regarding collaboration with certain presenters.
The INDIA bloc’s decision not to take part in the debate shows hosted by certain anchors has sparked controversy. The BJP described it as an attempt to suppress the media reminiscent of the Emergency period.
However, Congress leader Pawan Khera mentioned that it was not a “ban, boycott or blacklist” but a decision of non-cooperation. According to Khera, this move is based on consensus and aims to discourage participation in the shows of these particular presenters. In doing so, he emphasizes that the intention is not to hinder freedom of expression, but rather to refrain from being part of content that is considered harmful to the country.
The 14 journalists include Aditi Tyagi, Aman Chopra, Amish Devgan, Anand Narasimhan, Arnab Goswami, Ashok Shrivastav, Chitra Tripathi, Gaurav Sawant, Navika Kumar, Prachi Parashar, Rubika Liaquat, Shiv Aroor and Sudhir Chaudhary.
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