‘Post-truth’, a gift of the Trump campaign, means a situation in which people are most likely to accept an argument based on what they want to believe, never mind the facts.
But journalists should inhabit the realm of ‘pre-truth’. By virtue of their access to places, events, people, and curious eyes, noses and ears, they find exclusive, juicy, information that may still be closed-circuit chatter before becoming open fact.
It deserves to be out there, before it hits the news cycle and crams the networks.
Pre-Truth, our new feature, will bring you snappy, witty and significant snippets from the world of politics and government, from the national capital and the states. So stay tuned Wednesdays and Fridays, to begin with.
Shah avoided celebrations at BJP HQ after poll results
BJP president Amit Shah Tuesday skipped his usual post-election media interaction as it became clear that the party would fall short of the majority mark in Karnataka assembly election. The media interaction was initially scheduled for 3 pm, but was cancelled later. BJP insiders say that Shah was reluctant to join party workers celebrating at the BJP headquarters, despite repeated prodding and pleas by many party leaders and his aides.
Shah kept a close watch on the see-saw in the party’s fortune in the southern state. It was only in the evening that he made an appearance and later addressed party workers, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“He becomes emotional when election results are not up to his expectations,” explained a party leader. Shah had predicted 130 plus seats for the BJP in Karnataka, while the party ended up with 104.
Karnataka outcome made DD News anchor emotional
An anchor on DD News channel became emotional as the high octane drama in Karnataka was unfolding Tuesday. Discussing political developments in Karnataka with panelists in the evening, she looked perturbed by reports that independent MLAs had decided to side with the Congress-JD(S) coalition. “Independents ki reports negative aa rahi hai. Woh Congress ko support karenge… (There are negative reports about independents. They have decided to support Congress),” she said.
Congress leaders blamed EVMs as seat tally fell
As the counting of votes in Karnataka was in progress, senior Congress leaders Mohan Prakash and Shakeel Ahmed reached the party headquarters to give bytes to the media. As initial trends showed the Congress doing well, they immediately attributed the party’s “success” to Rahul Gandhi. As the party’s tally started falling, they changed tune and started blaming the EVM. By the evening, when the Congress and the JD(S) decided to come together to form the government, the two leaders went silent on the EVM issue and quietly left the party office.
Hasmukh Adhia not keen on cabinet secretary’s post
Contrary to a perception in the corridors of power in New Delhi, finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia had been averse to the idea of becoming the cabinet secretary. The Gujarat cadre IAS officer, known for his proximity to Narendra Modi, had — before incumbent P.K. Sinha was given a year’s extension — requested the Prime Minister not to consider him for that role. Adhia has, in fact, been rather withdrawn for the last year and among the things, is looking to set up a yoga centre in the interiors of Gujarat or around Mount Abu.
PM Modi’s ‘language diplomacy’ with Nepal
During his trip to Nepal last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a bus service from Janakpur to Ayodhya and also tried what may be called language diplomacy. On his arrival, he tweeted in Nepali: “Began my Nepal visit from Janakpur, a land that is testimony to the deep-rooted cultural ties between our nations.”
The next day, he put out two more tweets in Nepali. Sources in the Nepal government say Prime Minister K.P. Oli was touched by the gesture and decided to reciprocate. On 12 May, as the visit concluded, Oli tweeted in Gujarati, which roughly translates to “India’s Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Nepal has been successfully completed. Together we aim to resolve all the cost related questions on bilateral relations within a fixed time period. I am heartily grateful to Mr. Modi for his understanding.”
After hectic campaigning, Priyanka takes a break
Priyanka Vadra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s sister who actively assists him but remains behind-the-scenes, took a short break towards the end of the Karnataka poll campaign. She was seen returning from Dubai on a Jet Airways flight in the early hours of Sunday, just in time for the results Tuesday. On the flight, air hostesses seemed awe-struck as they stood near her, explaining in detail the menu for dinner. Priyanka, dressed in a black T-shirt and trousers, was animated as she eagerly engaged them in the conversation — apparently about the menu.
(Contributors: D.K. Singh, Ruhi Tewari, Kumar Anshuman, and Pragya Kaushika)