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Providing official secret info to journalist ‘criminal act’: Rahul Gandhi on purported Arnab chats

Congress Leaders Rahul Gandhi.   | Photo Credit: RV MOORTHY

Breaking his silence over the leaked WhatsApp conversations of Republic TV promoter and anchor Arnab Goswami, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday sharing of information under Officials Secrets Act (OSA) is a “criminal act” and “the receiver and giver of such information should go to jail”.

 

At a press conference at the party headquarters, Mr. Gandhi also targeted the Narendra Modi government over its handling of the hostilities with China and other aspects of the foreign policy.

 

Talking about the leaked chats between Mr. Goswami and Partho Dasupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), an agency that measures TRP of TV channels, Mr. Gandhi said only four or five people — Prime Minister, Air Force chief, National Security Advisor, Home Minister and Defence Minister — would have been privy to a secret like the Balakot air strike.

 

“This is the criminal act. Giving official secret information to a journalist is a criminal act; both on the part of the person who accepted it and on the part of the person, who gave it. These people call themselves patriots, right! There is nothing patriotic about putting our Air Force at risk,” Mr. Gandhi said.

 

“Of these five people, one has given information to this person. This is a criminal act. We will have to find out who did it, and both will have to go to jail...This process should start, but this process will not start because the Prime Minister may have given the information.”

 

“If Mr. Arnab Goswami knows, if it is on his WhatsApp, I assume the Pakistanis also know it. It is not a very big jump. It is a criminal act and that investigation should begin,” he said.

 

Referring to an alleged conversation of Mr. Goswami in which he is reported to have talked about his channel doing well in terms of viewership on the day of the Pulwama terror attack, Mr. Gandhi said it was ‘distressing’.

 

“This is a reflection of the mind of the Prime Minister that it is good that 40 of our people have been killed and we will win the elections,” he alleged.

 

On the border stand off, he said while China works according to their strategic vision India needs to give a clear response.

 

“If India doesn’t make a clear strategy, either message military strategy or economic or geo-political strategy, China won’t stay quiet and will try to take advantage. The day it will happen, we’ll suffer damages,” he said.

 

Mr. Gandhi also slammed the Prime Minister for his endorsement of outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump.

 

“Well, I remember the Prime Minister saying Is Baar, Trump Sarkar [This time, Trump government]….As a Prime Minister, you don’t do something like that because you are disrespecting the people of the United States by doing this because this is their choice, not your choice. So, it is a lack of understanding of fundamentals,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 1:20:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/providing-official-secret-info-to-journalist-criminal-act-rahul-gandhi-on-purported-arnab-chats/article33610205.ece

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