As the Lok Sabha election battle intensifies and many leaders are caught off-guard trying to appease their party, a new video by Zee News shows senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi trying to manipulate the media.
The video, which is of an interview with Joshi, shows him demanding to see the interview footage several times, and then deleting it. But Joshi forgot about another camera that was recording the events as they transpired. The interview with Murli Manohar Joshi was being done by Zee News's Resident Editor Sumit Awasthi.
The video shows the senior BJP leader, who is contesting from Kanpur seat, threatening the reporter. As the conversation continues, it becomes clear that Josdi wants his diktats to be followed. One of the main diktats being that he does not want the reporter to ask a single question related to the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.
In the video, Joshi is seen asking the correspondent to focus on national issues and not question him on the Kanpur seat or on Modi while the reporter tries to pacify the leader. He can be seen threatening the reporter and crew members, saying that if they don't allow him to review the video, they won't be able to leave the house.
After behaving what increasingly looks like throwing a temper tantrum, Joshi went ahead and deleted the interview footage as seen in the video. This happened even after the correspondent and media crew members pacified Joshi and tried to understand and clear his apprehensions.
Joshi seemed apprehensive that the interview would put him in a tight spot as the election battle gets hotter and the BJP is trying to portray itself as a strong united front despite many factional divisions within the party.
From Uma Bharti's controversial video taking a jibe at Modi to LK Advani holding resentment for not being allowed to pursue his prime ministerial ambitions, Narendra Modi's selection as prime ministerial candidate has ruffled many within the party fold too.
Also Read: LK Advani blogs BJP's dirty linen
Earlier, Joshi had dismissed the Narendra Modi wave and cited that it was a collaborative wave of the party across the country.
In the interview that was deleted, Joshi spoke the following things:
On Jaswant Singh: "If it could have been avoided, I think it would be better. It's true that this decision was taken by the president and the chief minister but not as a behind-the-back decision. It was almost certain that they will decide it. Yes, but the fact that Mr Jaswant Singh will not be given a ticket, did not come for discussion."
The Gujarat model: Joshi, who headed the BJP manifesto committee, also suggested that the Gujarat model of development touted by Modi cannot be made applicable for all states.
"It is now the developmental model of the country as presented by the BJP. In a country like India, what developmental model is true for Jammu and Kashmir or Arunachal Pradesh, may not be true for Kerala. So to say that this model or that model – no. So some good points may be there, some good points from the government of Tripura will also be there, it is not some straitjacket model," he added.
The Modi wave: When asked to react if there is Modi wave in the country, especially in Kanpur from where he is contesting the Lok Sabha polls, an apparently uncomfortable Joshi said there is a wave in favour of his party and its prime ministerial candidate.
“BJP's poll campaign posters in Kanpur have both me as well as Modi. There is wave in favour of both... why are you just sticking to Modi? ... I told you earlier to ask questions on national issues... please delete all that,” the BJP veteran adds.
Reactions to the video:
Congress' Akhilesh Pratap Singh said , “My party has never done such things. Freedom of media should not be curtailed.”
Though there has been no reaction from the BJP on the Joshi episode, its candidate from Patna Saheb Shatrughan Sinha has said, “This should not have happened. It is against the freedom of media.”
Watch the video: