Congress Leaders React to Arnab’s ‘Chats,’ Demand ‘Thorough Probe’

Former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan sought a probe and said that the chats are “deeply disturbing.”

Updated
India
2 min read
File photo of Arnab Goswami.
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Several Congress leaders, including former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan have reacted to the purported WhatsApp chats of Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, with some seeking a probe into the matter and others questioning whether Goswami had prior knowledge of the Balakot airstrikes.

The Mumbai Police has filed a supplementary charge sheet in the fake TRP scam case that includes extensive purported WhatsApp chats of Goswami, which have now been leaked on social media and across news outlets.

The alleged chats show Goswami complaining about TRP rankings of his competitors, while Dasgupta complains to him about the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and requests him to ‘help him get an advisor post with the Prime Minister’s Office.’

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram questioned if a journalist and his friend knew about the Balakot strikes three days before the strikes took place.

“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? @rajnathsingh,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

Meanwhile, Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan sought a probe into the matter and said that the chats released by the Mumbai Police are “deeply disturbing.”

On Saturday, Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi wrote: “Arnab's chats dated 23.02.2019 refer to sharing of Intel re: action along the Pak border. It means someone very senior in Govt is leaking highly confidential info which may endanger the lives of our soldiers & so that mercenary considerations can add to TRPs.”

Congress MP Manish Tiwari said that if what is being reported in media is correct, “Then it points towards a direct linkage between Balakot air strikes and 2019 General elections. Was National Security milked for electoral purposes?”

Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said that even though “one's private chats should not be investigated, Goswami's were a matter of public record in a court of law.”

"If there is any linkage between the strike and the elections, it must be investigated," he added.

Further, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that BARC is “aiding and abetting weapons of mass disinformation.”

Congress leader Milind Deora, too, took a dig and wrote: “How many grams of TRP are legally permitted for a channel’s personal consumption? @narcoticsbureau?”

While addressing a press conference on Sunday, 17 January, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said that the party will be issuing a comprehensive statement within the next 48 hours and that they are in the process of examining it.

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