Have you ever encountered a feeling of being rudely let down by someone who you’ve trusted as your fierce ally? This is precisely what happened to BJP’s controversial spokesperson Sambit Patra on Sunday when he was given a rude shock by Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami.
Goswami was debating the non-existence of an opposition in India under the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For the most part of the debate, both Goswami and Patra spoke in unison in slamming the opposition. Both agreed that the opposition led by the Congress had acted as anti-nationals while criticising the policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre. However, minutes before the programme came to an end, Goswami stunned Patra by changing his tune as he decided to expose the BJP’s hypocrisy on corruption and crimes against women.
Addressing a representative from the NCP, Goswami said like a school teacher, “Mahesh now I am on your side. Sambit stand up. Sambit you’ve been very aggressive in the course of this debate.”
He continued, “You see Sambit, the debate started with why there’s no opposition…I want to ask you that you’ve now decided to take one person from the NCP, who in July 2017 was arrested for extortion and murder. In Goa, you said beti bachao, beti padhao. You have taken 10 Congress MLAs including a man called Babush Monserrate, who faces cases of raping a minor girl in 2016.”
Goswami did not end here. Before reading out more cases of the BJP’s hypocrisy, Goswami told Patra, “Shame on you.” The Republic founder continued even as Patra remained shocked on the treatment meted out to him by an anchor, who he would have expected the least to embarrass him on a national TV channel.
Goswami said, “Rape, extortion and murder. Please make a list…How did you come here. You came to power because you said ‘corruption-free Bharat.’ The face of corruption in Bengal is a man called Sovan Chatterjee. He’s the face of the Narada scam. The BJP began its campaign in Bengal by talking about the Narada scam. Kindly tell everyone that Sovan Chatterjee is the face of the corruption-free Bharat.”
A pro-BJP guest yelled ‘shame, shame’ further compounding the woes of the BJP spokesperson.
Goswami asked, “What’s your views on Sovan Chatterjee? ” Patra asked Goswami laughingly, “Why don’t you go with a PIL to the court?” Goswami, who was beginning to lose his cool by now said, “Sambit, this is not a laughing matter.”
Goswami also reminded Patra how Ganesh Nayak, who he said had misappropriated money from a bank. “You have a person accused of rape, you have an extortionist and, by the way, your BJP manifesto mentions BJP 37 times and Jayant Gore, who you have inducted into the BJP is accused of sexual harassment. In January 2017, Jayant Gore surrendered before the Satara Police after his bail was rejected,” Goswami said while demanding an answer from Patra.
Patra, in his response, said that his party believed in getting the verdict from the people’s court in elections.
Patra had, in the past, credited Goswami with his fame as a BJP spokesperson. He had revealed this in a conversation with a Republic TV representative during his election campaign in Puri.