New Delhi, April 1: The coronavirus outbreak in India and the subsequent nationwide lockdown has reportedly forced the Congress party to rethink on its 10-month-old decision of not sending its spokespersons on television debates. According to a report, Congress has decided to send its spokespersons and panellists to news channels to articulate its views on the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus Outbreak Live News Updates on April 1.
In May last year, after the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party had decided not to send its spokespersons on television debates. Political observers had linked the Congress's move to the leadership crisis triggered by Rahul Gandhi’s resignation from the post of president. The grand old party, however, had cited the alleged "unfair treatment" meted out to its panellists by "pro-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) anchor" as the reason. Sonia Gandhi Asks PM Narendra Modi to Give Advance Wages for 21 Days to MGNREGA Workers Amid COVID-19 Lockdown.
"This is our protest against the acquired characteristics of the media. There is no level playing field on news channels. The TV debates are more like a circus than a discussion where they pitch one against the other and most of it is aimed at painting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP as hero and all the opposition as villain," an office-bearer of Congress’s media department had told Hindustan Times.
However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Congress party decided to withdraw its earlier decision. Though Congress will now send its spokesperson to news channels to participate in coronavirus-related debates, it will continue to boycott certain "anchors who are perceived to be biased and only toe the line" of the government or the ruling BJP, Hindustan Times reported.