After chaos, commotion and “cot fight” on day one of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s much-ambitious “Kisan Yatra”, it was a woeful Wednesday, this time for journalists covering the event.
Most of the journalists, including from major media groups of the nation, were compelled to spend their nights in their vehicles after virtually all the rooms were booked by the Congress for it’s party members and the organizers of the Gandhi’s event, planned strategically from Deoria in Gorakhpur to the national capital.
Although I managed to get a room, it was 60 km from where the next planned event was. The condition was such that almost all the Outdoor Broadcasting (OB) van engineers had to sleep in their vans.
“All the rooms were booked way in advance. We don’t have any room to take more bookings, ” owner of a leading hotel in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti said on the condition of anonymity.
“The condition is same in the towns Gandhi’s convoy will pass through.”
What’s also adding to the woes of journalists are poor management for the media and virtually no coordination between the organizers regarding the arrangements for the huge media contingent covering Gandhi.
“I am coming from Delhi. We have never seen this in the past. These security men are not letting us in despite being shown the PIB accreditation card,” a famous TV journalist from a leading media group said.
So, while Day 1 was marred with commotion resulting to negative headlines across the media for Congress and Gandhi, Day 2 was not different. Only consolation being the cots that remained intact after his Khat Chaupal in Khalilabad.
Gandhi’s Kisan Yatra is aimed at giving a push to the Congress’ electoral fortune in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election. The party had last won the election in UP 27 years ago and now seeks to come back to power once again. He will cover a distance of over 2,500 km in this Kisan Yatra.
(Prashant Kumar is senior reporter with Times Now. He covers politics, breaking stories and crime)