Spl article: A bias Marathi news channel stopped Fadnavis interview abruptly

Devendra Fadnavis

A well-known Marathi channel was exposed when an interview of the former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was twisted and edited as it suited for them. The former chief minister posted a video on Twitter from his interaction with the Marathi channel, where the channel had cut short his answer abruptly, along with his full answer that he had recorded simultaneously separately.

Fadnavis was speaking with the channel which now virtually becomes a mouthpiece for the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi government, on the GST and Centre’s help extended to the Uddhav Thackeray government. The leader of Opposition tweeted that he had to share the video on Twitter because the channel had suddenly stopped his interview while he was answering on the union government’s support to the state government.

It seems the leader of the opposition was apprehensive that the Marathi channel might not air his uncensored responses on GST and Centre’s help to the Maharashtra government, he had also arranged for a parallel recording of his live interaction with the channel. Surprisingly, his suspicions turned out true when the Marathi news channel stopped the interview abruptly while he was elaborating on the assistance provided by the Narendra Modi government, concerning the GST credit and tax benefits to the state government. Therefore, Fadnavis shared the footage from his parallel recording and accused them of scuttling away when their slanderous allegations are rebutted.

Fadnavis was responding to the question of whether the union government was discriminating against the Maharashtra government with respect to the transfer of GST credit when the interview was called off. “In the context of the GST, let me tell you very clearly that till March the central government has given the Maharashtra state government a staggering amount of Rs 19,500-crore. The central’s Attorney General had made his stand clear on this issue that the state governments are liable to receive compensation equivalent to the cess amount and they cannot receive more from the consolidated funds as per the law,” Fadnavis said through sharing the parallel video.

He further added, “However, the centre realised that the state is in difficulty and therefore it transferred the funds from consolidated funds to cess amount for the state. Just like the state’s collections are reduced due to the coronavirus induced lockdown, similarly, the centre is also under pressure due to reduced collection of the taxes. Yet, the central government has gone ahead and asked the states to borrow money to reconcile their GST deficit.”

Fadnavis said that the central government has also permitted the states to borrow loans way beyond their capacities to make up for the shortfalls in their GST amounts. “The centre has also promised that these loans will not be reflected in the state’s balance sheets and the centre would take care of repaying the borrowed amount,” he said

This Marathi channel has also been targeting Kangana and her supporters for questioning Rhea Chakraborty and others for the mysterious death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput while keeping mum against the Shiv Sena spokesman, Sanjay Raut and other Sena leaders, who are making “derogating” languages against the Bollywood actress and threatening her. Surprisingly, its Hindi news channel is giving a contrast picture regarding the on-going war between Kangana and Sanjay Raut.

The entire episode indicated the sorry state of affair of this channel when a former chief minister does not trust it to carry his full statement, and had to arrange separate video recording of the interview anticipating what the channel actually did. The credibility of this channel is also now under cloud and its TRP has also fallen from number one to now number three!