Sandeep/ Sambit Patra fiasco: India Today journalist trolled by BJP supporters for asking tough question to Amit Shah

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The India Today journalist, who had asked question to Amit Shah on why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not held a single press conference, is now facing attacks by trolls from the saffron party. The video clip of Mausami Singh posing her question to Shah causing him visible discomfort had gone viral on social media platforms.

She had asked Shah to respond to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s tweet asking why Modi had not held a press conference during his term as prime minister for over four years. A visibly irritated Shah had then forgotten the name of his famous spokesperson, Sambit Patra. While responding to her question, Shah had said, “Sandeep (Sambit) Patra will respond to Rahul Gandhi.” Shah calling his own party spokesperson Sandeep had become a butt of jokes on social media.

Days later Mausami shared her ordeal on Twitter highlighting how right-wing trolls had been giving her grief since that episode. She shared a screenshot of an abusive post targeted at her and sarcastically wrote, “I am getting a lot of praise for just doing my duty. Common thats what I ought to do will always..इतनी प्रशंसा मत कीजिये। (sic)”

The abusive post by user ‘Bossy Kalyan’ was in response to a tweet, posted by BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, who had written, “She should join Congress officially.” Bagga, for his part was responding to a video montage, posted by another BJP supporter, who accused her of calling the BJP arrogant. The user @iAnkurSingh wrote, “After her Drama at Amit Shah’s press conference, India Today’s Mausmi Singh went to Congress press conference to call BJP arrogant. She’s the same alleged journalist who was seen fighting agnst Media to defend Mani Shankar Aiyar. (sic)”

Tweets targeting Mausami by @iAnkurSingh and Bagga were shared thousands of times. But, it was Bagga’s tweet, which appeared to open the floodgate as his Twitter army launched a tirade against the journalist. One wrote, “God knows , she might have joined already Tajinder bhai. After all journalist ki small salary me EMI kaha se pay kar paaengi mam. Durbar me hajiri to lagaani hi hai.”

Shah’s inability to remember his own top spokesperson’s name assumes significance in light of both he and PM Modi mocking Rahul Gandhi in an election rally for making a mistake in pronouncing freedom fighter Kumbharam Arya and calling him Kumbhkaran.

Gandhi had taken a dig at Prime Minister Modi earlier this week by mocking him for not holding a single press conference during his term as prime minister for over four years. He had tweeted, “Dear Mr Modi, Now that campaigning is over, hope you can spare some time for your part-time job as PM. Btw its been 1,654 days since u became PM. Still no press conference? Some pics from our Hyderabad PC today. Try one someday, it’s fun having questions thrown at you!”

PM Modi has often come under media attack for not entertaining two-way interaction with the media since becoming the prime minister in 2014. His selected few interviews have been allotted to channels or media houses, known for being sympathetic to his government or the ideologies of his party, the BJP.

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