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Arnab Goswami WhatsApp chats | Opposition demands inquiry

Senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Days after the conversations between Republic TV promoter Arnab Goswami and the former CEO of the viewership ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Partho Dasgupta leaked into the public domain, Opposition leaders on Sunday said it merited a “thorough inquiry” since many of the issues raised in their conversations pertained to “national security”.

“The Whatsapp chats that have come out in the chargesheet of the Mumbai Police raise serious questions of national security. How financial frauds happened, involvement of officials in high positions, and some conversations even talked about ‘buying’ judges and deciding portfolios for Ministers — this is akin to playing with national security and shows the hollowness of those in power,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters at a press conference.

Also read: TRP scam | Bombay High Court extends protection to Arnab Goswami, other ARG employees

“Since the chargesheet is over 1,000 pages, we are examining the document in detail and in the next 24 to 48 hours, our seniormost leadership will come before you and share our views as to why it requires a thorough investigation,” he added.

Former Union minister P. Chidambaram, who also held the Home portfolio apart from Finance under the United Progressive Alliance regime, asked if Mr. Goswami had prior knowledge of the February 2019 Balakot strikes.

“Did a journalist (and his friend) know about the retaliatory strike on Balakot camp three days before the actual strike? If yes, what is the guarantee that their ‘source’ did not share the information with others as well, including spies or informers working for Pakistan? How did a ‘For Your Eyes Only’ decision find its way to the government-supporting journalist?” asked Mr Chidambaram.

Mr. Goswami’s WhatsApp chats with Mr. Dasgupta, who has been arrested by the Mumbai Police in the TRP (television rating point) scam, suggests that the Republic TV promoter had some prior information on a retaliatory strike by India after the Pulwama terror attack.

“On Pakistan the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used,” reads one of the messages attributed to Mr. Goswami and now part of the Mumbai Police’s chargesheet in the TRP scam.

Trinamool Congress’ MP Mahua Moitra tweeted (sic): “Nation Needs to Know: Transcript of whatsap chats shows clearly Government gave prior information about both Balakot strikes & abolishing Article 370 to tv anchor What is going on? Am I the only one who thinks ModiShah owe us answers?”


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 1:17:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/arnab-goswami-whatsapp-chats-opposition-demands-inquiry/article33593681.ece

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