Rahul Gandhi’s decision to step down as Congress president dominated the debate show of Arnab Goswami on Republic TV on Wednesday night. An angry Goswami slammed Gandhi for casting aspersion and questioning the integrity of the Election Commission. Gandhi raised questions on the polling process of this year’s parliamentary elections. Urging his viewers to file a defamation case against Gandhi, Goswami also targeted one of his former NDTV colleagues Barkha Dutt by labelling her a ‘Radia journalist.’ His debate on Wednesday night also saw a BJP panellist twist a popular song from a Bollywood film Mr India starring Anil Kapoor and the late Sridevi to say I Hate You to Rahul Gandhi. This left Goswami hysterical with the anchor going into a laughter fit.
Goswami launched his debate by mocking Gandhi, “I really pinch myself when I can’t believe what’s happening in the Congress party…Sonia Gandhi, please realise your son is not a five-year-old any more. He’s ten times older.”
He then launched a tirade against one of his former colleagues at the NDTV. Without naming Barkha Dutt, Goswami said, “Not happy with fake scrolls and liar wires, was a Congress’ failed politician trying to harvest a Radia journalist till some time back? What was that? Fighting for freedom of expression? Is this the zero loss theory?” He asked one of his panelists defending the Congress on the show.
The failed politician being referred to by Goswami appeared to have been veteran Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who was widely being termed as the man behind the launch of Harvest TV, which later became Tiranga TV. Barkha has been hosting a daily prime time debate show on Tiranga TV called Democracy Live since the channel’s launch. Sibal had coined the ‘zero loss’ theory when the 2G scam adversely impacted the then Congress-led government at the Centre.
Barkha’s name had featured in the infamous Radia tape controversy that rocked Indian politics and media in 2010.
Only a few days ago, Goswami, in a rare instance of outrage towards his former employer, had attacked the NDTV.
Earlier in the show, Goswami’s debate on politics momentarily became influenced by Bollywood when a BJP spokesperson decided to borrow a few lines from a popular song from Mr India to sarcastically claim that he was unhappy with Gandhi for his resignation since his departure would be detrimental to the interests of the BJP. Announcing that Gandhi was the star campaigner for the BJP, the saffron party spokesperson said with sarcasm on Republic TV, “Kaate nahi kat-ti din ye raat, kahni thi tumse ye dil ki baat. Lo Aaj main kahta hoon, I hate you, I hate you (I am unable to spend my days and nights without you. I wanted to express my feelings to you. Here I finally say that. I hate you, I hate you.”
This sent Goswami into a laughter fit as he was seen laughing out loud endlessly.
Gandhi on Wednesday had written a four-page letter to announce that he was stepping down as the Congress president and the party should elect his successor soon.