Indian National Congress on Wednesday served Times Now a defamation notice for what it said was wrongly identifying unauthorised individuals as the party spokespersons in TV debates. The Congress party said the Times Now’s action amounted to ‘willful misrepresentation of facts and breach of ethical code for media.’
The party, in its notice served by advocate Aman Panwar, wondered how the channel was identifying some individuals as party spokespersons when its communication cell has not sent anyone to Times Now since December 2015.
In its legal notice, the party said, “That our client since 22.12.2015 has not designated and provided a spokesperson/representative to you, the Times Now Network/channel and the same has been communicated perspicuously to your channel in express terms on innumerable occasions, through our media coordinator and other staff of the department.”
The party’s legal notice further said, “That in a blatant attempt to ridicule our Client’s reputation, you have time and again made intentional misrepresentation by projecting unauthorised individuals as representatives of our clients and creating an impressing before the general public that the said persons are presenting the viewpoint of our client. Such shows have been aired and endorsed on your channel on numerous occasions.”
The notice is addressed to Navika Kumar, Managing Editor of Times Now but it has also made the channel’s editor-in-chief, Rahul Shivshankar a party to the act of alleged defamation.
The party has demanded an on-air apology from the channel while asking it to particularly refrain from inviting Alimuddin Khan from introducing as a Congress spokesperson in future.
The party had in the past suspended one of its Haryana leaders for six years after he appeared on Times Now for a debate.
The Congress party has been aggressive in its media and social media strategy in the recent past. The party’s Vikas Gone Crazy strategy had rattled the bigwigs of the BJP including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. The party’s vice president, Rahul Gandhi, on Tuesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the leader of abuse machine in India. His comments made in University of California, Berkley, provoked the BJP to no end forcing almost haf a dozen union cabinet members and 20 plus spokespersons to come on TV to clarify that they did not take Gandhi ‘seriously.’
On Wednesday, the party’s student wing, NSUI, registered a huge win in the Delhi University polls when they captured both the posts of President and Vice President dealing a huge blow to ABVP.