In an extraordinary development, five farmers were killed at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh after violence broke out on Tuesday during a farmers’ protest.
Several reports said that the farmers were killed in police firing in Bhai Parshnath area, even though Mandsaur Collector S. K. Singh denied it.
The development was sensational and, as expected, the story was picked up by both traditional and social media platforms.
However, English channel Times Now chose to blame the Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi, for the unprecedented unrest by farmers in the BJP-ruled state.
Its tweet said, “Rahul Gandhi politicises farmers’ protests. In a tweet, the Congress v-p said the current govt is at war with farmers in the country. (sic)”
The tweet was unusual for a news outlet given that it was the channel’s own opinion posted in a haste minutes after Shivraj Singh Chouhan began to face condemnation for the killings of farmers allegedly by his police.
Clearly, as a media outlet, Times Now did not deem it fit to put Chouhan in the dock.
There were many on social media, who highlighted the irony in Times Now’s tweet.
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) June 6, 2017
Ravish Kumar Has Called Such Media As Godi Media Yest..Showing And Debating Only What Modi Wants..Diversions & No Qs Should Be Asked To BJP!
— iAmMusa (@onlyursmusa) June 6, 2017
Gujarat CM has very rightly accused Central government of giving step motherly treatment to soldiers and farmers pic.twitter.com/HokBEtYZof
— kitsharma (@kitsharma) June 6, 2017
@bainjal Hats off really for standing up to such a fiercely powerful defensive government! Not many have been able to do it consistently!
— P R D (@PRIYARD) June 6, 2017
Times Now’s TRP has taken a dip after another pro-government channel Republic’s launch. Analysts feel that the channel, which enjoyed the status of the market leader for a long time, is rattled after being dislodged by the Republic TV, owned by one of its former employees, Arnab Goswami.
One Times Now staff wishing to remain anonymous said that his channel was now in a race to outsmart Republic TV on both being the ‘nationalist and pro-BJP.’
Times Now’s tagline says ‘Always with the news.’ However, on this occasion, it appears the channel has clearly chosen to go with the views, an incredibly biased one.
The channel was recently in news after it called Kerala as Pakistan while covering the BJP president, Amit Shah’s visit amidst beef ban controversy.