In a bid to stabilise the state’s population growth rate, the Assam Cabinet decided to bar people with more than two children from having government jobs in the state after January 1, 2021. The two-child norm was already implemented in the state for Panchayati Raj and Municipal body elections, and now the same has been extended to state government jobs. While reporting this decision, NDTV anchor Sonal Mehrotra Kapoor chose to lie profusely and spread fake news in order to discredit the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbanand Sonowal.
NDTV Anchor Sonal Mehrotra Kapoor, while reporting the news of the two-child norm for government jobs in Assam claimed that while people with more than two children will not be eligible to get a government job in Assam, the Assam Chief Minister, Sarbnand Sonowal himself has 6 children. The truth is that CM Sonowal is unmarried and thus has no children.
Now NDTV has issued an unconditional apology for their anchor’s blatant lie.
We are extremely regretful that a NDTV anchor inadvertently said on air that the Chief minister of Assam, @sarbanandsonwal, had six children, when it is a known fact that he is unmarried. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/2jl4K8OmKC
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 26, 2019
NDTV has tweeted that their anchor had inadvertently said on live TV that Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has 6 children when it is a known fact that he is unmarried.
Once again, we sincerely apologise to the chief minister for this human error. NDTV is committed to responsible journalism and our journalists have maintained these high standards at all times. (3/3)
— NDTV (@ndtv) October 26, 2019
Further, NDTV said that all references to this were removed in all future bulletins. “This was immediately corrected and the reference removed in all future bulletins and stories. The story we carried made absolutely no reference to this and all facts were correct in that”, NDTV said.
NDTV then extended its apologies to Assam CM Sarbanand Sonowal and said “it was committed to responsible journalism”.
While it is interesting that NDTV has admitted their mistake, though called it ‘inadvertant’, the anchor who lied blatantly on Live TV had taken to Twitter after the OpIndia story to brazen it out.
Sonal Mehrotra Kapoor insinuated that it was a ‘slip of tongue’ and what she meant to say was that CM Sonowal was the 8th child to his parents. It would appear as though, in the context, Sonal was insinuating that the step to make government jobs inaccessible to ones with more than 2 children was incorrent, since the CM himself was the 8th child to his parents.
Sonal’s non-apology has now been exposed further with NDTV issuing an unconditional apology for the blatant lie that was aired on NDTV by their anchor.
The anchor who blatantly lied on NDTV is not indulging in spreading such canards for the first time.
In 2018, NDTV published and shared news on their social channels with the headline, “Assam BJP Lawmaker’s Nephew Not On Citizen’s List, Says “It Happens.” The story carried a photograph of BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty and Jaydip Phukan, who is a resident of Guwahati. Jaydip had taken to Twitter to assert that his name indeed does appear on the NRC list and he is not the nephew of the BJP MP.
Jaydip also wrote an official mail to NDTV, asking them to immediately retract his image from the irrelevant news published by them. He also tried to contact Sonal Mehrotra Kapoor, the writer of that particular article, to make the necessary corrections, but she was unavailable, said Jaydip.