On Friday, BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi threatened legal action against a news network called SPN9 News for publishing ‘ridiculous and trashy’ videos against him. SPN9 News is a YouTube channel that airs news and current affairs videos, and is run by a Delhi based company named Spn9news Media Private Limited.
Taking to Twitter, the Member of Parliament from Pilbhit said that he had decided to send a legal notice to SPN9 News for publishing fake news targeting him with ridiculous and trashy videos. He said it was unfortunate that the people live in an era of fake news that makes it easy to tarnish and defame anyone in public life.
Upon being sent these ridiculous & trashy videos I decided to send a legal notice to SPN9NEWS. Unfortunately,we live in an era of fake news which makes it easy to tarnish & defame anyone in public life. It was important for me to take a stand & put an end to conspiracy to harm me pic.twitter.com/qELE4D2v9s— Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) February 24, 2021
Varun Gandhi took objection to the videos published by the lesser-known news network – SPN9 News and asserted that it was important for him to take a stand and put an end to conspiracy.
The obscure SPN9 News has been publishing reports targeting the Pilibhit MP for a long time now. In one of the videos published on February 20, it had accused Varun Gandhi of spoiling BJP’s chance in the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The news network published a series of videos saying that Varun Gandhi was leaving BJP to join the Congress party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections. The videos had also claimed that the BJP was in deep trouble after reports that Varun Gandhi might quit BJP to join the Congress.
Here are some of the images of the news reports published by SPN9 News, which have been deleted from their YouTube channel now:
Another video published by SPN9 News, saying BJP in panic and the Congress party was in a celebratory mood following a crucial decision by Varun Gandhi.
News outlet apologises for its publication
After Varun Gandhi warned the news outlet of initiating legal action, the SPN9 News has promptly issued an apology to the BJP MP, saying that they deeply regretted the contents they had aired on their YouTube channel. They also informed that they have removed the reports targeting Varun Gandhi from their platforms.
“If we have shown something false or defamatory, we apologise unconditionally. We are committed to media ethics…We have removed all the 20 to 30 objectionable content from all of our platforms and assure you that any such content found in our database shall be removed immediately and unconditionally,” said the apology mail issued by the news network to Varun Gandhi.
I hope this is a message to bullies in the media and fake news operators everywhere. It is important one takes action everytime we are a victim of political conspiracy. pic.twitter.com/XT5dMKCgdx— Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) February 26, 2021
Responding to the apology issued by SPN9 News, Varun Gandhi said in a tweet, “I hope this is a message to bullies in the media and fake news operators everywhere. It is important one takes action every time we are a victim of political conspiracy”.
Despite claim of removing content, videos remain on Facebook
While SPN9News said that they have removed 20-30 objectionable content, and indeed the videos have been removed from their YouTube channel, some videos still remain on their Facebook page. These videos make the same claim of Varun Gandhi’s alleged increasing distance from BJP and possibility of joining Congress.
The above report published on 22nd February claims that . BJP never gave him any important post, but he can become a big leader in the Congress party, claims the report. The language of the report makes it clear that it is designed to provoke Varun Gandhi to leave BJP and lure him into Congress promising a bigger role. The YoutTube channels looks like a tool used by the Congress party to poach leaders from other parties.