BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra is no stranger to controversy. Only little over a week ago, the ‘omnipresent’ BJP face on Indian news channels found himself amidst an unflattering situation when an NDTV anchor bluntly asked him to leave the show after he accused the channel of biases.
To add insult to injury, Patra was also told to look for ‘glorified versions of Doordarshan’ to air his opinion. This was a dig at the transformation of most private news channels into the propaganda outlets for the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
Three days after the BJP spokesperson was forced to make an unceremonious exit, NDTV owners’ houses were raided by the CBI.
The raids led to widespread public outcry as critics of the Modi government felt that free press was under attack for being fearless and objective.
One would have thought that the events of last week may cause a brief truce between NDTV and Patra. But, it wasn’t meant to be.
Patra on Monday tweeted a link to a Pakistan-based website, Times of Islamabad, which had falsely attributed NDTV for a story against India.
Patra wrote, “Hmmm… Agenda!!’
NDTV was nimble-footed in its clarification in response to Patra’s tweet.
It said, “Fake story, also does not refer anywhere to NDTV. We are wrongly named in headline and URL. Please issue a clarification.”
Fake story, also does not refer anywhere to NDTV. We are wrongly named in headline and URL. Please issue a clarification.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 11, 2017
Even after the NDTV issued a clarification calling it a fake story, Patra did not remove his tweet and, instead, defended his earlier post with the following tweet, “Do I not have FOE to call out a Pak publication (real not FAKE) which runs an anti India AGENDA? Why are some riled?”
Do I not have FOE to call out a Pak publication (real not FAKE) which runs an anti India AGENDA?
Why are some riled? pic.twitter.com/TwedmA51sH
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) June 12, 2017
Since being pointed out by The Wire, even Times of Islamabad has deleted its fake tweet, but not Patra, whose comment ‘hmmm… Agenda!!’ continues to remain on his timeline.
This prompted social media users to have a go at the controversial BJP spokesperson, who has become notorious for citing fake and photoshopped sources to attempt to outsmart his opponents in TV debates.
Here are some of the Twitter reactions;
1st not an FOE issue at all. 2nd using tweet to attack NDTV. 3rd giving credence to a handle that usually carries fake BJP news #selfgoal
— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) June 12, 2017
— Rahul Dugal (@rahuldugal) June 11, 2017
Mr. Sambit Patra, just to raise a question… By your standards, following/reading Times of Islamabad should make you anti-national! Right?
— Harihar Goswami (@harihar_goswami) June 11, 2017
Patra ko serious mat lo, uski abhi jali hai NDTV se
— qs19 (@qs19rocks) June 11, 2017