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18 instances when the opposition spokespersons have resorted to abuses, threats and attacks against BJP opponents

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera had once described PM Modi as Masood Azhar, Osama Bin Laden, Dawood Ibrahim and ISI on India TV.

In absence of strong leadership and reinvigorating agenda to inspire people’s trust, spokespersons of the Congress party and other opposition parties have often resorted to abusive, ugly and boorish behaviour during TV debates, presumably in their attempt to castigate the BJP and ridicule their representatives.

For a long time now, opposition spokespersons have tried to gloss over their party’s inadequacies and blunders by taking recourse to bluster and abusive posturing. Recently, a Twitter user who goes by the handle @moronhumour has chronicled 18 instances when Congress spokespersons had shed any semblance of propriety and indulged in making unflattering remarks against their opponents.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate

Last week, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate called BJP leader Sambit Patra “Naali Ka Keeda” in a live debate on Aaj Tak. It is worth noting that Shrinate was once an NDTV journalist.

However, this was not the first incident that Shrinate had resorted to obnoxious behaviour on a live television. If her previous debates are anything to go by, she is a repeat offender and had displayed little tolerance to hear out opposing views. When spokespersons of other parties try to contradict her statements and call out Congress’ treachery, she heckles them with insulting remarks such as “non sensical” and “shut up”.

Congress spokesperson Ragini Nayak

Besides Shrinate, there are several other Congress spokespersons, who use unparliamentary language to counter their opponents in a TV debate. Ragini Nayak is one of them, who is particularly shrill in her attack against the opposition spokespersons.

In a TV debate on Aaj Tak, Nayak called BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia “sadakchaap”, “totle aadmi”, “thali ke baigan”, “badtameez aadmi” and other insults because he dared to counter the Congress spokesperson. It must be noted that Nayak had once served as the DUSU president.

Nayak is used to losing her cool while debating on television. In 2018, Nayak called Gaurav Bhatia “Tera Baap Chor hai(Your father is a thief)” on his face during a news show on India TV.

Congress leader Alka Lamba

Another Congress leader who is known for being uncivilised in her discourse on TV debates is Alka Lamba. Alka, who was earlier a member of AAP party, had insulted BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia by making unwarranted remarks on his parents. “badtameez inka baap hoga, badtameez inki maa hongi(His father must be ill-mannered, his mother must be ill-mannered),” said Alka on an India TV debate earlier this year.

When she finds no logical rebuttal to her opponents, Alka tries to mock her opponents by poking fun at their names, possibly in a bid to rile them up. During a debate on News 18, Lamba mocked BJP spokesperson Guru Prakash Paswan by calling him: “Guru Prakash me nahin, Guru Andhkar me hain(Guru is not enlightened, he is in the dark).”

Congress leader Late Rajiv Tyagi

Some of the Congress spokespeople were so exasperated by the questions asked of them during debates that they did not hesitate from reviling the anchor of the show. Late Rajiv Tyagi of the Congress party had in 2018 called journalist Ameesh Devgan a “bhadwa” and a “dalaal” during a TV debate.

Late Rajiv Tyagi had once got up to literally assault then CNN IBN7 Anchor Sumit Awasthi to make his point during a debate.

Former AAP Member MC Abbas

MC Abbas, who once fought MLA election on AAP ticket and now describes as ‘independent political analyst’ had once started heckling BJP’s Nupur Sharma by calling her “Dadi Maa”, “Auntie”, “Ekta Kapoor”, “Vamp” in the midst of a debate on Republic TV.

SP leader Anurag Bhadouria

Not just verbal abuses but BJP spokespersons are also subjected to physical attacks by opposition leaders. Anurag Bhadouria of Samajwadi Party had once been involved in a fight with BJP’s Gaurav Bhatia after he pushed Bhatia around in the India TV studios.

Congress spokesperson Alok Sharma

Then, there was Congress spokesperson Alok Sharma, who threw a glass of water at the BJP leader during a live debate on News 24 channel.

AAP member Nishant Verma

Nishant Verma, who had once fought on AAP ticket, had threatened BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra of hanging him upside down on a debate on Republic TV last year.

Senior Congress leader Pawan Khera

Even though it is the Congress party’s comments that are echoed by Pakistani leaders, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera had once described PM Modi as Masood Azhar, Osama Bin Laden, Dawood Ibrahim and ISI on India TV.

Congress sympathiser Rajiv Desai

In one instance, Rajiv Desai, who is known to sympathise with the Congress party and is alleged to be its spokesperson, had abused BJP leader Nupur Sharma by calling her “moron”, “crass” and “bubblehead” while debating on Times Now.

AAP MLA Somnath Bharati

AAP leader Somnath Bharati is perhaps the most abusive of the lot. He had once abused a female TV anchor of Sudarshan TV. “bhadwagiri band karo, dhandhe pe baith jao,” he had once said. This was extremely foul language that roughly translates to, “don’t be a pimp, go and start prostitution.”

Congress spokesperson Sujata Paul

Twisting names of opposition spokesperson seems to be the hobbyhorse of the embattled Congress leaders who find themselves cornered in a TV debate. In a debate show on Republic TV, Sujata Paul of Congress started calling Sambit Patra names such as “Daya Patra” to not let him make his point.

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam

Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress party had made sexist and derogatory jibes against Union Minister (then BJP leader Smriti Irani. “Aap to TV pe thumke lagati thi,aaj chunavi visleshak ban gayi (You used to dance in TV shows, and now you have become a psephologist),” he had said in a debate in 2012.

Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh

When there are no arguments to defend the untenable, Congress spokespersons take to threatening TV anchors. Akhilesh Pratap Singh of Congress had once threatened 2 senior anchors— Late Rohit Sardana and Manik Gupta—asking them to toe the line & save their jobs or risk retribution.

The above mentioned 18 instances are in no way an exhaustive list of incidents when the opposition spokespersons have crossed the decency and descended to unseemly behaviour on national television. There might be several other incidents of similar nature which are not captured in this list. However, the said incidents amply demonstrate how the discourse has been vitiated by opposition spokesperson, who have no qualms in resorting to abuses, threats and insults to attack their political opponents.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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