'Hypocrisy at its finest...' BJP slams INDIA bloc over plans to boycott section of TV media
Reports said opposition leaders are planning to compile a list of news anchors whose debates and shows they intend to boycott. The Coordination Committee reportedly made this announcement on Wednesday, stating that its media subgroup would identify these anchors and programs.
Reports that the Opposition INDIA bloc will boycott a group of television anchors and shows, accusing them of hostility towards the grouping, has evoked a sharp response from the Bharatiya Janata Party which called the move 'hypocrisy at its finest'. Taking to micro-blogging platform X (formerly Twitter), BJP's Anil K Antony said: "So @INCIndia and the INDI alliance which supposedly stands for ‘free speech’ would boycott anchors and shows that are not aligned to their own thoughts. But would support a @BBCWorld that would attempt to divide our society based on non-existential issues that are already brought to a closure by our highest of courts."
"Congress ideally would like a world like the emergency days when the media would crawl when asked to bend. Freedom of expression means the freedom to speak based on the party’s whims and fancies. The rest would be cancelled out. Hypocrisy at its finest," he added.
According to reports, opposition leaders are planning to compile a list of news anchors whose debates and shows they intend to boycott. The Coordination Committee reportedly made this announcement on Wednesday, stating that its media subgroup would be responsible for identifying these anchors and programs.
This decision regarding the boycott list emerged during the inaugural meeting of the INDIA coordination committee, convened at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
The opposition has consistently accused certain sections of the media of displaying a hostile bias. During Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress repeatedly criticized a segment of the media for providing insufficient coverage.
The Yatra has garnered substantial support from the public, as evident on social media platforms. However, mainstream media outlets have faced allegations of boycotting it, with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot publicly expressing his concerns.
Gehlot stated, "It is my allegation that editors have boycotted the yatra. Thousands are participating in the campaign. Shouldn't such a massive campaign be covered?" These remarks suggest that some leaders have hinted at possible retaliation.
In May 2019, the Congress had previously enacted a one-month boycott of television shows. Senior party leader Randeep Surjewala had tweeted at that time, now under the pseudonym "X," stating, "The Congress has decided not to send spokespersons to television debates for a month. We request all media channels and editors not to invite Congress representatives onto their shows."
In addition to the media boycott plans, the Coordination Committee has also initiated the process of discussing seat-sharing arrangements in preparation for the upcoming general elections scheduled for next year.