Nobel laureate Angus Deaton has denied Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint’s report which claimed that he is helping Congress shape the minimum income scheme.
On 31st January, ThePrint ran a report by one D. K. Singh who claimed that Angus Deaton, a British economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015 along with French economist Thomas Piketty are advising the Congress on its minimum income guarantee program.
ThePrint states that according to party leaders, the party reached out to the two economists since Rahul Gandhi had “studied their work”. However, when OpIndia reached out to Deaton, he denied being associated with Congress or Rahul Gandhi.
In a one-line email, Deaton said that he has had no contact with Congress on this or anything else. The French economist Thomas Piketty, however, did confirm “exchanging with Congress about how much it would cost and how to implement this”. He added that “it is high time to move from the politics of caste conflict to the politics of income and wealth redistribution.”
Thus, Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint ran a story without confirming or verifying independently with the Nobel laureate and based it on what Congress leaders fed the journalist.
Last week, media reports had surfaced which claimed that it was Congress leaders who had ‘planted’ a story of Army coup back in 2011-2012 to defame the Indian Army. The Sunday Guardian quoted an Intelligence Bureau officer saying that no coup attempt was undertaken.
The report states, “The top leadership of the UPA 2 government, in the last few months of 2011 and early 2012, had informally indicated to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to try and establish that the Army, under its then chief, General V.K. Singh, was attempting a coup to topple the government.” When the IB reported that there was no way V.K. Singh would carry out any coup, “this fiction was “leaked” to the media, which carried the story as was narrated to it by the political leadership, which also included a leader who occupied a top Constitutional post later in his career.”
The ‘Army coup’ story in the report was written and published by Shekhar Gupta in the English Daily, Indian Express, when Gupta was the Editor.
Planting stories is as old as journalism. However, a senior journalist like Gupta should have known better when such a ‘plant’ involves the Indian Army. OpIndia reached out to Gupta for his comment on the allegations on such ‘leaked’ story on the army coup which he had carried on the front page as an editor of one of India’s leading national daily. Gupta has not replied by the time the report is published.
We shall update the report if and when he responds.