Aam Aadmi Party has complained of a boycott by the news Asian News International, popularly known as ANI to its events including press conferences.
Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, a Delhi government spokesperson said that the news agency had begun the boycott of AAP event since the Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, accused the ANI of being a BJP spokesperson.
The spokesperson, wishing to remain anonymous, said, “The chief minister had addressed a massive rally in Lucknow earlier this week. The response to his rally in Bhopal too was tremendous. But the ANI simply refused to not broadcast the event live. This is a marked departure from its past, when the agency would send a reporter with live broadcast facility.”
When asked if it was a case of ANI making the visuals available and channels not running it, the spokesperson said that ‘no the ANI is simply not sending its cameraman where it knows that channels have not sent their OB vans.’
However, when contacted, the ANI chief, Smita Prakash, told Janta Ka Reporter that there was no truth to this ‘rumour.’
She said, “Not true at all. I don’t know who’s spreading this rumour.’
Kejriwal on 15 December shared a journalist’s tweet alleging that the ANI had ‘shamelessly become BJP spokespersons.’
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 15, 2016
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party has said that despite Arnab Goswami’s departure from Times Now, the party’s boycott for the channel hasn’t ended. The embargo on its spokesperson from appearing on any Times Now debates remain in force, said one spokesperson.
In September, AAP had directed its spokespersons and supporters not to appear on Times Now debates alleging biases against the party by the channel.
In its ‘urgent’ advisory to party supporters, volunteers and spokespersons, AAP had called Times Now and Sudarshan TV, as the RSS’ mouthpieces.
The AAP said that any violation of this advisory will lead to disciplinary action.