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Criminal Action: Rahul Gandhi on Arnab Goswami WhatsApp Chats Row

On the farm laws, Gandhi said they will put the entire agriculture sector in the hands of 3 to 4 crony capitalists.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
File image of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
i

Amid controversy over the purported WhatsApp chats of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, which made references to the February 2019 Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrikes, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 19 January, said that giving official secret information to a journalist is a ‘criminal act.’

"The distressing thing for me was that when 40 of our jawans died, someone said 'this is going to be very good for us'. I do not like this language. This is an anti-national act... It's a criminal action, giving official secret information to a journalist. I want to know whether it was the PM of India, home minister, defence minister or NSA who told Goswami... These people call themselves patriots. But there is nothing patriotic about putting our Air Force at risk," Gandhi was quoted at saying a press briefing, after releasing a booklet on the three contentious farm laws.

References to Balakot, Pulwama in Goswami’s Purported Chats

The alleged chats between Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta include several controversial alleged conversations between Goswami and Dasgupta regarding various news events (and Republic’s coverage of them), including the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strike in February 2019.

On 14 February 2019, a terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy near Pulwama led to the deaths of 40 military personnel. In alleged texts to Dasgupta on the day, Goswami first purportedly mentions that his channel was “20 min ahead on the biggest terrorist attack of the year in Kashmir”.

He then appears to go on to say, with regard to his channel’s coverage: “This attack we have won like crazy”.

On 23 February 2019, three days before Indian Air Force conducted a retaliatory strike on a reported terrorist camp in Pakistan at Balakot , Goswami allegedly told Dasgupta that “something big will happen.”

'I Support Protesting Farmers 100%; Not Scared of PM Modi': Rahul Gandhi

On the farm laws, which have been at the centre of protests by thousands of farmers near the borders of Delhi-NCR for the past one-and-a-half months, the Congress leader said they will put the entire agriculture sector in the hands of three to four crony capitalists.

The Centre's new laws are designed to destroy Indian agriculture, he added.

According to NDTV, Rahul Gandhi said:

“The new farm laws are designed to destroy the agriculture sector. I support the protesting farmers 100 percent and every single person in the country should support them as they are fighting for us.” 

He also reportedly said: "Farmers know the reality. All farmers know what Rahul Gandhi does. Nadda ji was not at Bhatta Parsaul. I have a character, I am not scared of Narendra Modi or anyone, they can't touch me but they can shoot me. I am a patriot and will protect my country.”

“I am more fanatic than them," Gandhi added.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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