By Sayantani Biswas
Congress leader Pawan Khera said the decision to not attend shows by certain journalists is a non-cooperation movement, not a boycott. The list includes Arnab Goswami, Sudhir Chaudhary, Navika Kumar and others.
Opposition INDIA bloc’s decision to not attend television shows by a list of fourteen journalists is not a ‘boycott’ but a non-cooperation movement, Congress leader Pawan Khera said on Saturday.
The decision on listing anchors and shows was taken at the first meeting of the INDIA coordination committee held at the home of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
“Nothing is permanent and if tomorrow the journalists mentioned on the list published by the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance ‘realise that what they were doing is not good for India’, INDIA leaders will again attend their shows,” Pawan Khera said ahead of the two-day Congress Working Committee meeting.
On Friday, INDIA bloc member and Congress MP from Assam, Gaurav Gogoi told reporters that the decision to boycott certain TV news anchors and their shows were taken because ‘Congress party’ wishes ‘not to extend support to some journalists who are in the WhatsApp group of the BJP Media cell’.
“The motive of Congress party behind this decision is to not extend support to some journalists who are in the WhatsApp group of the BJP Media cell and spread hatred in the country, which is a crime as per the law.” Gogoi said.
The list, shared by several member parties of INDIA coalition, contains the names of Republic Network’s Arnab Goswami, Aaj Tak’s Sudhir Chaudhary, News18 Hindi’s Amish Devgan, TimesNow’s Navika Kumar, IndiaToday Group’s Gaurav Sawant among 14 news anchors.
Congress leader Pawan Khera said, “We have not banned, boycotted or blacklisted anyone. It can be called a non-cooperation movement. We will not be cooperating with anybody spreading hatred in the society. We are not stopping them from spreading hatred. If you want to spread hatred, go ahead and do it. You have the freedom to do it.”
“We also have the freedom to not be partners in the crime. They are not our enemies. We don’t hate any of these friends from the media. They may have their compulsions. And nothing is permanent. If tomorrow they realise what they were doing is not good for India, not good for the society, believe me, we are all together in this. We will again start attending their shows. So do not call it a ban,” Khera said.
“If someone keeps dumping garbage on our road, we have the freedom to change our path. We are just exercising that freedom and all INDIA parties have agreed to change our path,” the Congress leader said.
The total list of names included in the non-cooperation list are