Milind Khandekar has resigned as the managing editor of ABP News channel. His resignation has come amidst reports that the central government was allegedly attempting to blackout the channel’s flagship programme, Masterstroke.
Taking to Twitter, Khandekar said, “14 years & 8 days later it’s time to move on. Today was my last day as Managing Editor @abpnewstv . Thank you for being part of my journey so far.”
14 years & 8 days later it’s time to move on. Today was my last day as Managing Editor @abpnewstv . Thank you for being part of my journey so far.
— milind khandekar (@milindkhandekar) August 1, 2018
Khandekar was the editorial head the TV channel as well as its digital operations. His resignation immediately sparked off reactions on social media as the government’s critics blamed the decision to the channel’s recent coverage that had angered the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
Not too long ago, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyawardhgan Singh Rathore had reacted angrily to the channel’s coverage on Chhattisgarh suggesting that the PM’s interaction with local women was choreographed.
One Chandramani Kaushik from Chhattisgarh had told Modi in her interaction with the prime minister that her agricultural income had doubled after she switched from cultivating paddy to (‘sitafal’) custard apple farming. However, a report broadcast by Masterstroke on ABP News had later interviewed the same woman, who claimed that officials from Delhi had arrived in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh to tutor her before her interaction with PM Modi, to falsely claim about doubling of income.
The channel had defended its coverage. Days later, many viewers had claimed that they were facing difficulties in watching the programme alleging a deliberate intervention by the government.
#MasterStroke @abpnewshindi I'm from Goa every night at 9 to 10 PM masterstroke is being telecast and interrupted with bad signal. ABP news and @ppbajpai why u are not taking up this with government. Free press and media are under threat. This emergency . pic.twitter.com/RrG79Vpb9I
— SMH (@Modassir_Hassan) July 30, 2018
What is happening to #abpnews #MasterStroke most of the times between 9 to 10 pm signal problem on dish tv ????. सच से डर लगता है साहिब क्या। pic.twitter.com/QbP9SceHPC
— Mukesh Sharma (@advmickey) July 30, 2018
Didn't believe earlier when some friends told me that every day at 9 PM, the telecast of Masterstroke by @ppbajpai at @abpnewstv gets disturbed. Witnessed it today by myself. @TataSky do you have any answer. pic.twitter.com/XfPOYos2zK
— Kumar Anshuman (@anshumanscribe) July 30, 2018
Journalisr Rohini Singh tweeted, “The media in India is facing it’s BIGGEST existential crisis today. This will be one of the most shameful chapters in the history of Indian journalism.” Journalist Akash Banerjee tweeted sarcastically, “So @milindkhandekar finally quits…
This is what you call a #Masterstroke by the powers that lord over India…”
Delhi government’s media advisor, Arunoday Prakash wrote, “got the prize of not putting the show Masterstroke off air or what? Are you so scared of a 30-minute show Modiji? Not done. We are living in a democracy sir.”
There were reports recently that ABP’s ‘Masterstroke’ was facing technical glitches during its transmission with critics blaming the central government for the disruption. Janta Ka Reporter made several attempts to reach out to Khandekar for his comments, but he was unavailable for reaction.
This story will be updated once Khandekar decides to speak to us.