Did All India Radio Censor BJP’s Loss in UP-Bihar Bypolls?
India’s national public radio broadcaster, All India Radio (AIR), did not say a word about the BJP’s crushing defeat in the UP-Bihar bypolls in its daily broadcast of the news on Thursday, 15 March, raising more than a few eyebrows.
Considering that the radio network is known to cover major daily national and international news developments, it is extremely surprising that its news bulletin didn’t have anything to say on the ruling party’s losses in the seats of Phulpur, Gorakhpur and Araria in its morning segment, though it did find time to report the Indian cricket team’s win over Bangladesh.
The fact of BJP’s significant losses in UP and Bihar did not make it to any other section of their website either.
Sanjay Kumar, the Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, put out a tweet on Thursday morning questioning the radio network’s silence on the bypoll results, where the BJP lost to the Samajwadi Party and RJD in the three Lok Sabha seats it contested.
The morning news that was covered by the radio network on Thursday ranged from updates on the Nirav Modi scam to India’s GDP growth rate, but seemed to skip over the part where the ruling party, following its great recent victory in Tripura especially, was dealt a blow in these bypolls, one being in UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf of Gorakhpur.
Is it possible that the network, which in its own words has been “serving to inform, educate and entertain the masses since its inception”, censored the BJP’s loss in the UP-Bihar bypolls?