Amidst a return to parliamentary proceedings by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, a new controversy has erupted as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey referred to a New York Times report in the Lok Sabha. Dubey claimed that not only Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, but also the news organization NewsClick and independent journalists Rohini Singh and Swati Chaturvedi, had allegedly received funds from China to propagate an “anti-India” environment.
The incident took place on August 7, the same day Rahul Gandhi was back in the parliament after a brief absence.
“Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Nafrat ki Dukaan’ (shop of hate) has Chinese ‘samaan’ (goods),” exclaimed Dubey while the acting chairman Kirit Premjibhai Solanki was facilitating the proceedings for ministers to present papers.
Addressing the house, Dubey emphasized that he was raising a grave matter. Referring to a news article published in The New York Times, he asserted that a staggering amount of Rs 38 crore had been allegedly received by NewsClick, an online news platform known for its critical stance on various government policies.
In his statement, Dubey drew attention to the fact that the same news article detailed Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids carried out on NewsClick during the year 2021. These raids were reportedly related to financial transactions and activities conducted by the organization.
Moreover, the BJP MP highlighted that the report in question implicated independent journalists Rohini Singh and Swati Chaturvedi in the controversy. Allegedly, these journalists were also linked to the purported Chinese funds aimed at influencing the Indian media landscape.
In response to these accusations, both Rohini Singh and Swati Chaturvedi vehemently denied the allegations. To assert their stance, they took steps to have their names expunged from the Lok Sabha records, underlining their commitment to journalistic integrity and clarifying their lack of involvement in any such activities.
The Congress party, too, was quick to respond to the situation. In a counter move, they demanded the removal of Rahul Gandhi’s name from the records as well. This demand reflects the party’s assertion that the allegations against Gandhi are baseless and lack credible evidence.
The reference to a foreign news outlet and the allegations of foreign funding have added a layer of complexity to the ongoing political discourse in India. Such allegations have the potential to impact the credibility of individuals and organizations, further emphasizing the importance of fact-based journalism and responsible dissemination of information.
The parliamentary session on August 7 witnessed a charged atmosphere as MPs from both sides engaged in heated exchanges over the issue. The nature of the allegations, their potential implications, and the broader context of political rivalry and media scrutiny all contribute to the significance of this incident.
As the matter unfolds, it remains to be seen how the individuals and entities mentioned in the allegations will respond and address the claims made by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey. The evolving narrative will undoubtedly draw attention to the role of media ethics, political discourse, and international influence in shaping the contemporary Indian political landscape.