The violence in Bengal during the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls prominently featured on Arnab Goswami’s Republic as the channel’s co-founder devoted nearly an hour to the topic on his prime time show The Debate.
This was after the polling in Asansol saw violence with Union Minister Babul Supriyo being attacked and his car vandalised.
Addressing Babul Supriyo, Garga said, “This is your channel, your party and your money.” He repeated his allegation one more time before Supriyo responded, “Now you are making false charges on Arnab.”
Goswami had founded Republic TV in 2017 with the help of BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Garga was visibly incensed that both Goswami and Supriyo were not allowing him to speak during the debate. He kept complaining during the debate and even switched to Bengali to make his argument. At one point when the English debate turned into Bengali, Goswami, himself a Bengali speaker, intervened saying that he too could speak Bengali but this debate was meant to be conducted in English for the ‘wider audience’ beyond West Bengal.
Soon a reference of tulsi leaf was brought in when Garga accused Supriyo and his party of inducting goons in his party. “Minister (Babul Supriyo) is scared of citizens, BJP is scared of Bengalis,” said Garga before accusing the BJP of hiring mafias in the party. He said, “They (the BJP) got Lakhan Seth, they got Arjun Singh the mafia in the BJP. Ask Babul Supriyo if Lakhan Singh and Arjun Singh are saints.”
Supriyo replied sarcastically, “For so many years, Arjun Singh was your martyr.” Garga switched to Bengali to ask, “Arjun Singh ki dhowa tulsi pota? (Is Arjun Singh like a washed Tulsi leaf)” Supriyo replied, “Garga you are not making any sense. No one is like dhowa tulsi pota.”
“Arnab I would like to answer you by quoting you from the start of the programme. You should be happy because you like to hear your own voice.” His comments brought a rare smile on Goswami’s face.
Exasperated over his inability to ensure sanity in the debate, Goswami decided to end the show by saying that Mamata Banerjee should not be scared of people. The Election Commission on Monday had filed an FIR against Supriyo for entering a polling station and disrupting the polling process.
You can watch the debate here