Tuesday, 21 March, 2023
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Zee News asks if Gandhis are next after Chidambaram, Rajdeep sees it as a perception war

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Prime Time

Former union minister P. Chidambaram dominated television news coverage after he was remanded to CBI custody for four days in the INX Media corruption case.

Footage of his dramatic arrest by CBI officers, awkwardly clambering up the boundary wall of his residence, TV reporters crawling all over the car he was in Wednesday night played through the day before TV news shadowed him to the CBI court.

The same scene of him greeting people inside the court were labeled “Exclusive” by all channels, who provided second by second updates of the proceedings inside.

ABP News summed up the situation before the court’s verdict: “Bail ya jail?”

Prime time debates were also dominated by discussions on Chidambaram — with irrefutable “proof” against him on Times Now,CNN-News 18 and Republic, among others.

NDTV India: In ‘Khabron ki Khabar’, anchor Sanket Upadhyay discussed the case with three lawyers.

Virag Gupta said, “If the matter was of anticipatory bail then why did the court wait for so long? The court should not have reserved the order for more than three months…”

 “Over the past one year, CBI called Chidambaram only once for the inquiry. Why such urgency in the past two days?” asked another lawyer, Mudit Gupta.

 Lawyer Syed Yasir Jilani disagreed. “He kept the doors of his residence closed and that is why CBI officials had to jump in. The theatrics could have been avoided if he had let them come in,” he said.

Zee News: On ‘Taal Thok Ke’, anchors Aman Chopra and Sachin Arora looked into the future and wondered: “Chidambaram now, Gandhis next?”

 BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra observed that everyone in Congress was corrupt: “…the whole Congress party thinks corruption is their fundamental right, which they exercise every now and then.”

BJP’s Subramanian Swamy said, “Congress is in terror because Chidambaram knows the bank account details of the Gandhi family and can easily succumb to custodial interrogations.”

Political analyst and Trinamool Congress supporter Tauseef Ahmed Khan switched track:  “Why doesn’t the ED and CBI arrest B.S. Yediyurappa, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Narayan Rane and Himanta Biswa…for corruption? BJP is no saint either.”

India Today: Anchor Rajdeep Sardesai discussed the Chidambaram case from a different viewpoint: “INX Media Case: Who is winning the perception war?”

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, “To say Chidambaram must be arrested because he is needed for custodial interrogation is completely violative of our Constitution. This is clearly an act of vendetta.”

 “The political vendetta charge has been trashed by the court itself,” retorted BJP’s G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, adding that “merely winning debates on TV channels will not give relief to Chidambaram”.

Addressing Rao, Sardesai remarked, “The way you have gone about it is almost as if the CBI is a Rottweiler of the ruling party.”

Times Now: Anchor Rahul Shivshankar on ‘India Upfront’ asked: “Congress, DMK, Left, SP & TMC: Are they against ‘one India’?”

 This came after opposition parties protested against the detention of political leaders in J&K — Shehla Rashid’s presence at the protest was questioned.

 “It’s a gathering of democratic forces. Shehla Rashid…is a Kashmiri,” argued CPI(M) MLA A.N. Shamsheer.

 BJP’s Narasimha Rao said, “It’s shameful on the part of parties like DMK & Left to share the stage with somebody who is actually abusing the Indian Army. I don’t understand why Stalin is rallying against the Indian forces — is he trying to promote Tamil as the third language in Pakistan?”

Front Page

Chidambaram’s case dominates newspapers headlines too. Headlines are, however, conflicted on the number of days granted to the CBI for his custody.

“CBI gets Chidambaram in its custody for 4 days,” writes Hindustan TimesThe Times of India maintains, “Judge says charges serious, sends PC to 5-day custody,” and The Indian Express headlines “CBI gets Chidambaram custody for 4 days, his plea in SC today”.

The Hindus headline avoids the problem by merely stating, “Chidambaram in CBI custody”, although the strap goes with “5-day remand’’ for Chidambaram.

Express writes that a Delhi special court “remanded Congress leader” and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram in “CBI custody till August 26, observing” that the “allegations against him in the INX Media case” are “serious in nature” for which a “detailed and in-depth investigation is required”.

TOI reports that solicitor general Tushar Mehta, representing the CBI, made a “strong pitch for a five-day remand” of Chidambaram, arguing that his interrogation was required to “map the money trail in the case concerning allegations of bribery in the sanction of foreign investment proposals”.

Hindu adopts a sarcastic tone when it observes that CBI sought his “custody to unearth” the “larger conspiracy”, stating that he had “tremendous potential of not cooperating” in the probe as “he was highly intelligent.”

Macron and Modi

With photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi fiercely hugging French President Emmanuel Macron,TOI reports that they met at the “picturesque Chateau de Chantilly” on Thursday, and “reaffirmed their commitment to fighting terrorism”.

Hindu chooses to report the story differently, quoting Macron: “France would support any policy that would give the region stability, adding that no one should provoke violence there.”

Express writes that “echoing the Indian line on” Jammu and Kashmir, Macron said “India and Pakistan should resolve the issue bilaterally, and that no outside interference was needed.”

Sensex fall

Economic Times and Business Standard lead with what is the third big story of the day“Sensex in 5-month trough, rupee hits year’s lowest point,” headlines TOI. “Disappointed by the Centre’s perceived inaction in supporting” sectors like “auto, textiles and a few other manufacturing industries, Dalal Street investors” had “pressed the panic button,” sending Sensex “plunging by 587 points (1.6%) to close at 36,473, a five-month closing low,” writes TOI.

HT reports a “6-month low”, saying equity markets “closed deep in the red” on Thursday “after top government officials virtually ruled out a stimulus package for slowdown-hit sectors, triggering another round of selling in banking, auto and metal stocks”.

Express is alone in reporting on Page 1 comments by Niti Aayog chief on the poor liquidity situation. Rajiv Kumar said that “faced with an unprecedented issue’’, the government “needs to take steps that are `out of the ordinary’ (`Niti Aayog chief rings the alarm bell..’)

TOI chooses to lead with US President Donald Trump on its front-page flap. It writes, Trump “opened a can of worms” by “singling out India and Pakistan among countries he said ought to be doing more to fight Islamic extremist groups in Asia, particularly in Afghanistan”.

ExpressHT and TOI feature prominently Chandrayaan-2 images and feature them on their front pages.


HTPrime Minister Modi plans to visit France, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates in the coming weeks, primarily to quell the international reaction following his government’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status.

In ‘Understanding the PM’s flight plan’, HT identifies countries that are “diplomatically supportive” of India and those that are not.

India can count on France, its “most consistent supporter” at the UN, and Abu Dhabi, which has ensured that the UAE would remain neutral on the Kashmir shift, writes HT. At the G-7 Summit, Modi can “make his case” to all major western governments and reiterate his partnership with France. While the US has shown support, India cannot count on a “superpower”, which may have “multiple interests”. Besides, Russia’s growing relationship with China makes it a “less dependable” ally of India.

Express: In ‘Stateless in Assam’, it predicts the final publication of the National Register of Citizens on 31 August will be “a chaotic affair”. The Supreme Court’s rejection of an appeal to re-verify 20 per cent of the sample mainly in border districts indicates the “NRC is flawed” and has been formed with a “poor understanding of migration” and the discrimination faced by migrants.

The proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Act reveals the BJP’s attempt to draw communal lines in Assam and “privilege non-Muslim migrants”. The Centre must “desist” from this kind of legislation, writes Express and opt for a political consensus on how to address the NRC exclusions of about 40 lakh people.

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  1. Apart from various comments, I may point out the comment of Rajdeep Saradesai, He had made out his perception “Vendetta against PC”,at Nelson’s eye, quite before the matter put to discussion., through his preoccupied and biased attitude. These libaralds never waited to judge the facts and procedures of Investing agencies before makings out pre hand perception of ” Vendetta”.

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