The former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis today exposed how media twists statements by deliberate editing. He posted a video on Twitter from his interaction with the ABP Majha channel, where the channel had cut short his answer abruptly, along with his full answer that he had recorded simultaneously separately. The BJP leader was speaking on the GST and centre’s help extended to the Maharashtra government on the Marathi news channel.
Fadnavis tweeted that he had to share the video on Twitter because the ABP Majha channel had suddenly stopped his interview while he was answering on the centre’s support to the Maharashtra government.
Suspicious that the Marathi media outlet ABP Majha would not air his uncensored responses on GST and Centre’s help to the Maharashtra government, the former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis had arranged for a parallel recording of his live interaction with the channel.
His suspicions turned out true when the Marathi media channel stopped the interview abruptly while Fadnavis was elaborating on the assistance provided by the central government concerning the GST credit and tax benefits to the Maharashtra government. Therefore, Fadnavis shared the footage from his parallel recording to call out the sham of ‘neutrality’ espoused by the media channel, accusing them of scuttling away when their slanderous allegations are rebutted.
The fact that Devendra Fadnavis had arranged parallel recording of his interview with ABP Majha shows the trust deficit he has with media. It points towards the sorry state of affair of Indian media when a former chief minister does not trust a private TV channel to carry his full statement, and had to arrange separate video recording of the interview anticipating what the channel actually did.
Centre is going out of its way to support Maharashtra and other states: Devendra Fadnavis
Fadnavis was responding to the question of whether the central government was discriminating against the Maharashtra government with respect to the transfer of GST credit when the interview was called off.
“In the context of the GST, let me tell you very clearly that till March the central government has given the Maharashtra state government a staggering amount of Rs 19,500 crore. The central’s Attorney General had made his stand clear on this issue that the state governments are liable to receive compensation equivalent to the cess amount and they cannot receive more from the consolidated funds as per the law,” Fadnavis said.
He further added, “However, the centre realised that the state is in difficulty and therefore it transferred the funds from consolidated funds to cess amount for the state. Just like the state’s collections are reduced due to the coronavirus induced lockdown, similarly, the centre is also under pressure due to reduced collection of the taxes. Yet, the central government has gone ahead and asked the states to borrow money to reconcile their GST deficit.”
Fadnavis said that the central government has also permitted the states to borrow loans way beyond their capacities to make up for the shortfalls in their GST amounts. “The centre has also promised that these loans will not be reflected in the state’s balance sheets and the centre would take care of repaying the borrowed amount,” he said.