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Sagarika Ghose’s affidavit for Rajya Sabha nomination reveals Rajdeep Sardesai’s earning – running in crores – even during COVID: Details

The house that the duo purchased in 2008 for a price of about Rs 25 crores is valued at about Rs 49 crores on paper today. The house is in the name of Sagarika Ghose.

On 11th February, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party announced that ‘journalist’ Sagarika Ghose, wife of Rajdeep Sardesai, has been given a ticket for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in West Bengal.

In a tweet, the Mamata Banerjee-led-party informed, “We are pleased to announce the candidature of @sagarikaghose, @SushmitaDevAITC, @MdNadimulHaque6, and Mamata Bala Thakur for the forthcoming Rajya Sabha elections.”

“We extend our heartfelt wishes to them and may they work towards upholding Trinamool’s enduring legacy of indomitable spirit and advocacy for the rights of every Indian,” it added.

Sagarika Ghose joining TMC after pontificating about how a journalist’s integrity is compromised when they accept RS nomination from political parties reveals just how hollow the ideals of these so-called journalists are when it comes to self-interest. They often pontificate to others, while doing exactly what they claim to stand against when it suits their agenda.

Besides revealing just how shallow their declared morals are, a cursory perusal of Sagarika Ghose’s Rajya Sabha affidavit also reveals the crores that her husband, Rajdeep Sardesai, has been getting as salary by India Today for being an anchor even during the difficult years of COVID. The affidavit also reveals how Sagarika Ghose’s income was steadily decreasing over the years as her relevance in the world of journalism also plummeted.

Salary of Rajdeep Sardesai and the assets in the name of Sagarika Ghose and him

According to Sagarika Ghose’s affidavit, Sagarika Ghose was earning about 40 lakh in 2019. During the COVID year of 2021, her earning dropped to 10 lakh and then came up to 17 lakh in 2023.

Sagarika Ghose affidavit

As for Rajdeep Sardesai, the affidavit revealed the crores he earns every year.

Sagarika Ghose affidavit

Rajdeep Sardesai, according to the affidavit, was making 4.55 crores in 2019. Even during the COVID years, his earnings only dropped to 2.83 crores and went back to 3.54 crores in 2023.

While this is Rajdeep Sardesai’s total earnings, in the absence of other known declared sources of income, people are assuming that bulk of it could be from salary from India Today Group.

The affidavit also reveals that Rajdeep Sardesai has almost Rs 25 crore in Mutual Funds, Stocks, and bonds.

Sagarika Ghose affidavit

Further, the house that the duo purchased in 2008 for a price of about Rs 25 crores is valued at about Rs 49 crores on paper today. The house is in the name of Sagarika Ghose.

Sagarika Ghose affidavit

It is interesting to note that not only during the COVID years, but the media has been laying off its staff for a long time, claiming that the move to digital journalism is impacting the need for on-field and technical staff. Several activists have been raising the issue of anchors like Rajdeep Sardesai and others making crores every year while other staff and journalists are laid off by the company.

In 2017 for example, NDTV, citing financial stress and the move to mobile journalism fired 70 of their staff members leaving them in the lurch. The report said that close to 60 or 70 staffers, including 35 camera persons, were affected by the layoffs. Other than the camera persons, the other people affected were mostly technical staff. While 70 such staff members were fired, it is reasonable to assume that given Rajdeep Sardesai’s presumed salary as we know it today, anchors in NDTV like Ravish Kumar at the time were also drawing comparable salaries.

In 2013, reports said that TV18 Broadcast Ltd, the arm of Network18 Ltd which runs the channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz, CNN-IBN, IBN7, and IBN Lokmat, dismissed many of its staffers – 300 employees across departments. The staffers were simply called in and handed over their letters, again, leaving them in the lurch.

During the COVID years, several media houses like Times of India, Indian Express, The Quint, etc had laid employees off while their star anchors and names presumably continued to draw higher salaries – given that we know the COVID years certainly did not impact Rajdeep Sardesai adversely as well.

Sagarika Ghose joins TMC even as Sandeshkhali women narrate their tales of horror

Since February 8, several areas in Sandeshkhali of North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal have been on the boil as locals, mainly women, have hit the streets demanding the arrest of absconding TMC leader and Mamata Banerjee’s close aides Sheikh Shahjahan and two other TMC workers Shiba Prasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar, believed to be close to Shahjahan. Hundreds of women residents of Sandeshkhali came out on the streets with brooms, sticks and farming tools and blocked the roads. They are demanding the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan and his two aides Shiba Prasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar, whom they have accused of making their lives miserable for quite some time, even from before the attack on the ED’s men. Sheikh Shahjahan is a close aide of Mamata Banerjee herself. 

The women of Sandeshkhali have mounted grave allegations against Shahjahan and his men. They have said that married Hindu women from the area are picked up, based on how young and pretty they are, and are violated night after night till the TMC men are “satisfied”. The husbands of these women are also threatened and told that they have no “right” over their wives. If they attempt to stop the exploitation of the women, they are mercilessly beaten. 

“You may be the husband but you cannot exercise your right. They would take your wife away for nights at a stretch. They would not release the women from their captivity until they were ‘fully satisfied. They have 20-30 goons with them. They would come in bikes and exercise their writ in the village,” one said. 

Even as the Sandeshkhali horror brewed with several women speaking up about the sexual harassment, molestation, rape, land grab and torture they were inflicted with at the hands of TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan as his men, Sagarika Ghose defended her decision to join TMC by claiming that Mamata Banerjee is the face of democratic values.

With several such testimonies pouring in, it is particularly insidious that Sagarika Ghose would tout her political foray as a moral decision to uphold democracy.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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