Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget dominated the editorials of prime time Indian TV on Friday and Arnab Goswami of Republic TV was no different. Goswami dedicated the entire two hours of his The Debate show to discuss the union budget. While the highlight of his special budget programme was the ‘reunion’ of two long-lost friends namely industrialist Rahul Bajaj and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Goswami’s team goofed it up big time on the Republic TV website by confusing common man with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.
Prasad was live on Republic TV to speak to Goswami on Friday’s budget. Goswami had billed his programme as #5TrillionBudget. No sooner did he finish interviewing Prasad, Goswami requested the union minister to stay a little longer since he wanted to bring one of his old friends on the programme. The ‘long-lost friend’ of Prasad in question was industrialist Rahul Bajaj.
Goswami said, “Mr Prasad, it’s a budget evening. I must surprise you with something…I will get one of your old friends to say hello to you. His name is Rahul Bajaj, chairman of the Bajaj Group.”
This brought a smile on Prasad’s face. Bajaj said that he too was happy to be on Goswami’s channel before adding that Prasad was perhaps unhappy with him because he did not give him a ‘dinner.’
Prasad replied to lodge his own complaint against Bajaj as he said, “Rahul Bajaj is a very good friend of mine. Since he talked about dinner, why did he not congratulate me on my great (Lok Sabha) victory from Patna Sahib? That I will settle with him when he comes to Delhi.”
This lightened up the mood on TV bringing a smile on everyone’s face. Goswami told both Prasad and Bajaj, “All I’d say that next time please give each other dinner and for God sake don’t go Dutch.”
While the mood in the Republic TV studio was of fun and laughter, what followed next on the channel’s website was embarrassing for Goswami.
Goswami had begun his debate by asking ‘What’s in for the Aam Aadmi in the budget?” He repeated this question several times during the course of his TV debate. But when his digital team reproduced his question on the Republic TV website, they wrote, “What’s in it for the Aam Aadmi Party?”
The gaffe was repeated on the same page, further compounding the embarrassment for Goswami, whose dislike for Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is too well known. This embarrassing gaffe remained live on the website of Republic TV for several hours with no one noticing the glaring error.
P.S. After Janta Ka Reporter published this report, Republic TV website quickly corrected the error by removing the reference to Aam Aadmi Party,