India Today employee Rajdeep Sardesai, who has an impeccable track record of asking ‘tough questions‘ to his set of hand-picked oppositions leaders, said that had he asked Mamata Banerjee about Bengal post-poll pogrom, he wouldn’t have gotten to eat ‘rasgullas’ (a traditional Bengali sweet) as part of her victory celebration. Sardesai’s remark came while he participated in a discussion hosted by Lallantop’s editor Saurabh Dwivedi on their YouTube channel today.
This particular episode of a program called Netanagri, aired on The Lallantop’s YouTube channel, was hosted to discuss Mamata Banerjee’ recent five-day visit to Delhi. Rajdeep Sardesai was one of the key invitees for the show, which also had Rahul Shrivastava, Political Editor, India Today TV, Himanshu Mishra, Deputy Editor, India Today TV and Prof. Biswanath Chakraborty on the panel of guests.
At around 6 minutes into the discussion, Sardesai was asked whether he questioned Banerjee over the post-poll violence in West Bengal in May this year. He chuckled and said, “I was not there to take her interview. I went there casually on ‘chai pe charcha’. Had I asked her about the post-poll violence I would not have gotten to eat Rusgullas”.
Rajdeep Sardesai’s submissive response came when Dwivedi asked him whether he had questioned Mamata Banerjee on the recent post-poll violence, in which her party cadres unleashed mayhem on the BJP workers and supporters in the state.
When Saurabh Dwivedi again inquires whether Sardesai questioned Mamata Banerjee about why this kind of brutality is being allowed to take place in her state or why BJP workers are being targeted by TMC workers overtly, Sardesai clarifies that he had not gone to take Mamata Banerjee’s interview but just to wish her for her victory. “Whenever I do her interview I will ask her this question”, says the India Today journalist.
At this point, Sardesai, however, does not miss out on mentioning that he had questioned Mamata Banerjee on what impact these incidents of violence would have on her image. To this Mamata retorted clearly that this was a charade that had been created by the BJP to defame her. Rajdeep Sardesai does not forget to mention that the West Bengal CM exonerated herself and her party members from the incidents of violence taking place in her state saying that BJP has been behind all such incidents.
Rajdeep Sardesai mentions that the WB CM told him that most of the violence that took place in West Bengal happened in the time period between her victory and her oath-taking ceremony. Here, Rajdeep Sardesai once again reiterates that if he only questioned her about the violence, he would have deviated from the direction of ‘chai pe charcha’ he was having as part of his courtesy visit. However, he promised that he would definitely ask these questions to Mamata Banerjee if ever he gets a chance to interview her in person.