New Delhi: Prime time news Thursday night was trained on the farmers’ protest once again.
On Republic TV, the attack on the Opposition continued with the hashtag ‘#StopFarmerPolitics’
“Opposition parties are getting desperate to hijack the kisaan andolan and muzzle the voices of the real farmers,” said anchor Arnab Goswami. He also attacked the protests after some people were seen holding up posters that demanded the release of activists Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam.
Political analyst Abdul Razack Khan disagreed with Goswami: “Any voice of dissent against the government is considered anti-national. It was a one-off incident, there might be some people who are using the situation.”
BJP’s Nupur Sharma fired back, “Do you agree that people put behind the bars, under the UAPA, accused of instigating the Delhi riots should be released? And how is it linked to farmers’ agitation?”
On his daily show ‘DNA’, Zee News anchor Sudhir Chaudhary also focused on another fringe element of the farmers’ protest.
“Kisan aandolan mein Khalistan ka kya kaam (role of Khalistan in the farmers’ protests),” he asked.
Chaudhury explained: “The NIA has revealed how Khalistani elements are joining the farmers’ protests.”
He referred to a press release by the NIA Wednesday explaining that they had chargesheeted 16 alleged Khalistan terrorists. Chaudhary explained that these 16 people were sitting outside India.
The organisation is allegedly called ‘Sikhs for Justice’ and they gathered outside the Indian consulate in London, recently, in support of the farmers’ protests. “Their main goal is that they want to make Khalistani elements active in India again,” said Chaudhary.
“Singhu border should not become another Shaheen Bagh,” he declared.
NDTV India’s Ravish Kumar also tackled the alleged Khalistani angle to the farm protests.
He said, “Rumours of a terror angle and Khalistani and Pakistani elements in the farmers’ protests are still being circulated… in January, the same happened when many in Delhi and other places protested against the new citizenship law.”
“At the time, BJP politicians, leaders and party workers were raising slogans of shooting people, ‘goli maaro’,” Kumar added.
He then explained that because of the “Godi media”, middle class Indians were made to believe that there were terror elements in the anti-CAA protests.
CNN News18 moved away from farmers and focused on West Bengal, where tensions are high between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress.
The poll-bound state has witnessed violent disruptions including Thursday’s attack on BJP National President J.P. Nadda’s convoy in Kolkata by alleged TMC workers.
“The face-off between TMC and BJP is getting more and more violent… and that is not something the average voter of Bengal bargained for,” said anchor Zakka Jacob.
Political analyst Manojit Mandal said that both parties are to blame.
“What happened in this area, TMC is saying it is not their doing. But the attacks that took place…they were not visible. The problem with BJP is that they’re endorsing it. What Mamata Didi said was not right, but what J.P. Nadda also said was also not right.”
In the ongoing slugfest between the TMC and the BJP in the state, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee hit out at the BJP leadership and compared them to dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. At a recent rally, Nadda said, “Intolerance thy name is Mamata.”
BJP’s Sanju Verma defended her party and said, “Using language as an excuse to resort to violence [is not right]. Mamata has called Prime Minister Modi, the highest elected office of this land, Hitler, Hitler’s uncle…”