ABP News had conducted the interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. In the over an hour-long interview, PM Modi had discussed many issues, from India’s growth story, defence, politics, and the upcoming elections.
However, one interesting aspect of the interview was that though it was telecast on Friday morning, there were no discussions of a point where the PM had reacted on a question over the Rafale deal.
PM Modi was asked by Rubika Liyakat whether it is a lie that the NDA government had favoured Anil Ambani’s company in the Rafale deal. PM Modi had responded to the questions that whether the ABP News crew have no trust on the Supreme Court, the CAG, the statements given by the French President or even the statements given by the government of India in the parliament.
PM Modi had stated that ABP News had not dared to question the 6-month long ongoing lie that is being peddled by Rahul Gandhi without a shred of evidence, but it does not trust the Indian government and institutions when they say that there has been no scam.
PM Modi then further slammed ABP News saying that, they take up a random statement from social media and debate over it for hours, but in the last 10 days, an Online portal (OpInida) had reported about the corruption and shady dealings that were done by the Gandhi family with all documents and evidence, but ABP has not seen it fit to discuss it. Even when the finance minister holds a press conference over the exclusive report, ABP blacks out the press conference.
The above clip was nowhere to be seen in the morning telecast of the interview. However, clips of it started surfacing in the social media and also uploaded by ABP’s YouTube channel later in the day.
This has led to many people in the social media speculate whether ABP had deliberately ‘censored’ this part of the PM’s interview where he slams their journalistic ethics and holds them accountable for not daring to question the Gandhi family even when they peddle lies repeatedly.
A new low for the Indian media. As PM Modi exposed ABP News’ biased reporting in an interview, @abpnewshindi conveniently blacked it out. Here’s the portion which these dishonest crooks did not play.pic.twitter.com/ADr2akHKm6
— Ajit Datta (@ajitdatta) April 6, 2019
Interestingly, the entire transcript of the interview was uploaded by ABP soon after the morning telecast yesterday and the discussion over Rafale and the PM’s sharp reply to ABP were nowhere mentioned. Effectively, the entire portion of the discussion about the news channel not daring to ask questions to the Gandhi family was ‘censored’ out.
However, the video clip and other smaller clips of the discussion over Rafale and ABP’s failure to cover OpIndia’s expose started surfacing later in the day. When the interview was telecast later in the evening, the clip was there. In their YouTube channel too, the short clip has been uploaded with the title ‘PM Modi became upset over questions on Rafale’.
This has given rise to many questions and speculations. Did ABP News intentionally censor the discussion out? If they had saved the specified part of the interview for later, why was the discussion not present in the transcripted text of the ‘whole interview’ uploaded by them?
A few years ago Doordarshan too, had come under the scanner for ‘censoring’ a part of the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s interview where he had stated that Priyanka Gandhi is like his own daughter. It was alleged that DD had ‘censored’ the part of the interview on the then Congress government’s order, which the then government had denied.
So, did ABP News actually attempt to do something like that but later realised that they might land in trouble as things do not remain hidden for long in the age of social media? Or did the PMO ask them about the absence of some very crucial remarks made by the PM in their morning telecast so they hurried to put it back? ABP has not offered an answer yet.