Channels black out Kapil Sibal’s press conference on mysterious growth of wealth of Amit Shah’s son

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Congress leader and former union minister, Kapil Sibal, on Sunday addressed media on a news report claiming that a company owned by the BJP President, Amit Shah’s son, Jay Amitbhai Shah, had experienced a phenomenal growth in turnover since Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister.

 

According to a report by The Wire website, the turnover of Jay Shah’s company, had increased 16,000 times between 2014-15 and 2015-16. Modi had become prime minister in May 2014. (Read the report here)

The story sent shockwaves with people calling it the most incriminating evidence of cronyism and also an example of impropriety at the highest level in the Modi government yet.

Addressing media, Sibal sought answers from Prime Minister and the BJP president, demanding a probe by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. Sibal also said that it appeared the fortunes of some people have changed after the change of power.

As expected, Sibal’s press conference was largely blacked out by every channel except NDTV and ABP News which broadcast the Congress leader’s interaction with media live. Times Now chose to flash only a ticker (see below) on Sibal’s press conference, but no live broadcast of what the Congress leader had to say; presumably in an attempt to showcase their high impact journalism.

Republic TV, News18, and NewsX and even India Today too appeared frightened to give coverage to Sibal’s media briefing fearing reprisals from Shah and Modi. Even the news agency ANI, which is usually prompt in flashing snippets on key news developments, chose to ignore the story. The agency’s Twitter handle appeared to be preoccupied in tracking the Gujarat visit of Prime Minister Modi.

This is not the first time, media outlets in India have refused to offer their platforms to anti-government voices. Not so long ago, they had decided to give P Chidambaram’s press conference a miss when the former finance minister spoke to media to react to Yashwant Sinha’s stinging criticism of economic policies adopted by Modi government.

Reacting to Janta Ka Reporter’s story on media blackout, the Congress’s head of communication, Randeep Surjewala had said, “Muzzling of media and prostration by journalists before the ruling dispensation have become a new norm in India. It’s time journalists realised their responsibilities as being members of the fourth pillar of the democracy. It’s clear that they chose not to broadcast Mr Chidambaram’s press conference out of fear of the government. After all, you have a person no less than the Information and Broadcasting minister (Smriti Irani) issuing regular threats to media houses and agencies asking them to fall in line.”

On Sunday, there was an instant outrage on the media blackout on Twitter, where the users were trending #AmitShahKiLoot.

In contrast, hours later, when the Union Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal, spoke to media to counter Sibal’s allegations, every channel cut live to 11 Ashoka Road, BJP’s headquarters in Delhi. Republic’s headline screamed that Goyal’s press conference was in response to Sibal’s charges. But, the same channel had blacked out Sibal’s allegations. It, of course deemed fit to broadcast the rebuttal live.

As for ANI, not only did it keep flashing headlines from Goyal’s press conference on Twitter, it also streamed his media interaction live via Periscope.

The latest revelation on Amit Shah’s son’s firm also assumes significance in light of how Modi fought the last Lok Sabha elections promising to weed out corruption from the government.

Modi had also not missed any opportunity in targetting the Congress party for the alleged growth in the fortune of Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, during the UPA government. However, his government has not been able to take any action against Vadra despite controlling all probe agencies for more than three years.

(Following the publication of our story, India Today’s consulting editor, Rajdeep Sardesai, tweeted saying his channels had not cut live to either Sibal or Goyal.)

 

13 COMMENTS

  1. Oh my god. Congress stooges are back crying foul. Have some shame and stop using Janta. You are congress ka reporter with wire as your new stooge. Shameless

  2. Shame on the Feku setup and it’s croonies who are bringing disrepute to the field of Journalism. The sixth eye which is to weed out Pseudos has now become a staunch slave of the safro setup…shame on the journos who forget their responsibility of digging out the TRUTH. Hope they learn to live for the sake of the COUNTRY which is their cradle and the future of us all is embedded here…hope Truth prevails

  3. Does Kapil sibal ever tells a truth ??????
    He is defending all the persons who have been involved in theft of public money like Lallu, Rabri, Madhu Koda, Mallaya. Did he talk about Chindwara MP whose income grew 1500% between 2009 & 2014.

  4. It is a sad day for the Indian democracy. The national media has abdicated its responsibility as a fourth pillar of democracy. One recalls the days of Emergency. The present situation is worse than that.

  5. If it is possible, can we have a bullet list of the points raised by Mr Kapil Sibal as well as the points given in reply by the Railway minister ?

  6. Modi is a complete failure in curbing the curruption instead generated so much that was ranked number one in tbelist of currupt countries. Amit Shah’s sons case is the litmus test result which directs needle of doubt to the many business and arms deals. If Modi tries to shield Shah opposition parties should unite in ensuing winter session of the Parliament.

  7. Corruption charges at highest level in BJP and their threats to media, without showing any remorse or even a gut to face enquiry proved that they are few steps ahead in level of corruption than other politicians. Indians by and large, either giver or receiver, believe in corruption to get work done and eradicating corruption is almost impossible task. However government, if will is shown, can reduce the level of corruption by taking number of suitable steps bringing transparency in working with little scope for discretion with effective vigilant mechanism and quicker prosecution system. So far in last three years, no major changes have been introduced to reduce the level of corruption by this Government.
    As regards threats to media, Miss Irani is doing fine job entrusted to her by party high command.

  8. I have gone through all the article on this website. There is not a single article which support any act/steps of present BJP government. Bhai mere hum Bharatvasi ko to Ravan me bhi kuchh achchhai dikhti hai, phir apko BJP me ek bhi nahi dikhi.
    Aap ho kaun ???
    This is not ‘Janta ka reporter’ , this is anti BJP reporter.

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