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‘You have a new owner’: Rahul Gandhi insults female NDTV journalist over Adani Group’s acquisition, accuses her of distracting attention from Bharat Jodo Yatra

Rahul Gandhi said that ownership of newspapers defines what newspapers do, implying NDTV's editorial stand will change after the acquisition by Adani group

During his interaction with the media in Ernakulam in Kerala as part of his ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi today insulted a female journalist from NDTV because the controversial media house is being acquired by the Adani group. Rahul Gandhi repeatedly told the female journalist that she has a ‘new owner’ before eventually moving on to not answering her original question.

During the press conference, the journalist from NDTV, whose name was not audible in the video, asked Rahul Gandhi why he was not running for the post of Congress president in the upcoming party elections when he is leading the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra. But instead of answering her question, Rahul Gandhi commented, “I believe you have a new owner”, with a smile on his face.

The female journalist ignores this jibe and continues with her question, but Rahul Gandhi was determined to insult her, so he asked her with stress, “You have a new owner?” while seemingly ignoring the rest of her question.

The Congress MP then said that he was talking about this only, referring to his answer to the previous question. In the previous answer, continuing his familiar accusations against Ambani-Adani, Rahul Gandhi had said that only 2-3-4 big industrialists can do anything they want, like running ports and airports, work on agriculture, build silos, and other people don’t get any help for banks and government.

Therefore, when the next question was asked by an NDTV journalist, this was a perfect opportunity to make another Ambani-Adani jibe, as the Adani group had announced last month that it is acquiring a 29.18% stake in NDTV, and made an open offer for 26% more stake. The acquisition of a 29.18 per cent stake will be indirect and made through Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of AMG Media Network Ltd (AMNL), which is owned by Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL).

After making the female journalist realise that she now works for a media house owned by a business house hated by him, Rahul Gandhi added, that ownership of is not immaterial at all. “Ownership of newspapers defines what newspapers do,” he said. With this, he hinted that NDTV’s editorial stand will change after the acquisition by Adani group.

While he had said that he is coming to the question, he actually didn’t address it, and instead accused the NDTV journalist of trying to divert the focus away from Bharat Jodo Yatra. He said that the Yatra is by lakhs of Congress workers, and he is just a participant. But the journalists like her are focusing only on him.

He then said, “Your question about whether I am a candidate or whether I am not a candidate is designed to distract from what we are doing. And I am not going to fall into that trap.” After that, a Congress leader asked the journalists not to keep asking about Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in Congress presidential election, as he has already answered it.

Attacking a journalist for the acquisition involving her employer is unjustified, as the journalist has no control over it, particularly when NDTV is a listed entity. NDTV promoter Pranoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy had issued warrants valued at 29.18% share in NDTV, and Adani Group purchased the company that holds the warrants, and after that decided to execute the warrants. It was a decision taken by the promoters to issue warrants in exchange for an interest-free loan, and the employees of the media house including the journalists have no role to play in this transaction.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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