The Congress party’s decision to stay away from TV debates for a month has adversely affected the Television Rating Points (TRP) of mainstream news channels. The party has taken this decision after suffering severe drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha polls. According to the party sources, some of the media is biased towards the Modi government. This is another reason for the party to stay away from the media. Congress party workers also have decided to boycott social media. According to reports, many leaders from the party had decided not to participate in debates because of the pending restructuring of the party’s communication system. Senior leaders of the party stated that the entire organisation would be restructured and communication department will witness radical changes. As Congress party is staying away from debates on TV channels, hence BJP too is not finding any topics to attack the former. Will Congress’s hibernation from media work in favour of the party and create a disadvantage for BJP?
Congress party communications chief Randeep Surjewala had tweeted, “The Congress has decided not to spend spokespersons on television debates for a month. All media channels/editors are requested not to place Congress representatives on their shows.”
Maharashtra Mahila Congress Committee President Dr. Charulatha Tokas said, “It is our policy decision and senior leadership has taken this decision. It will be reviewed after one month. The elections have concluded, the result has come, and the party has gone into introspection mode. People are aware of the truth. We abide by the verdict but our fight will continue.”
The Congress party has gone into introspection mode after suffering a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. The party’s decision to go into hibernation mode has evoked a mixed response from TV channels. This is the first instance when Congress has decided to withdraw from TV debates. Earlier, the party had boycotted certain channels and programmes when the party found that some of them were tarnishing its reputation. The party had stopped sending any of its spokespersons to Republic TV and Zee news. It had also withdrawn from Rohit Sardana’s show on Aaj Tak. Ever since the election began, the party was miffed with several channels for projecting it in a negative light.
BJP MP Gopal Shetty said, “People have asked Congress party workers to take some rest. It’s the Congress party’s decision not to send its spokespersons on TV debates. They are respecting the public mandate. We have several issues to attack the Congress party. People have given a mandate to the BJP for working for their welfare. We are doing our job.”
Congress party’s decision to stay away from media debates has not gone down well with BJP too. All the conversations happening on TV channels are turning out to be one-sided and viewers too are staying away from them. Earlier, the Congress used to send its spokespersons and they used to aggressively take their stand on various issues affecting the nation. Both the Congress and BJP spokespersons would get into a long debate over various topics. The Congress after suffering massive defeat in Lok Sabha polls has learnt that this is not the right time to take an anti-BJP stand on media. Since BJP has won people’s mandate so the Congress won’t stand to gain anything by criticising the former. Therefore, Congress is keeping a safe distance from the media. The Congress is currently facing a crisis with Rahul Gandhi offering to resign after poll debacle winning just 52 seats and its state governments facing an uncertain future.
Criminal lawyer Advocate Majeed Memon said, “TV channels were trying to overuse the comments flowing from various political parties. One major opposition party Congress having barred the spokesperson and directed him to refrain from participating in any debate has certainly deserted the debate arrangement by the television channels. During the polls, it was observed that the electronic channels with barely a couple of exceptions were being misused by those who are in power. This seems to be a good trend and it is hoped that the TV channels would follow self-regulatory method to avoid any further criticism.”
Many Congress leaders are also staying away from Twitter. Several of them have stopped tweeting on social media. Congress social media in-charge Divya Spandana has deleted her twitter handle along with her tweet history. Twitter was abuzz with speculation over her political future as none of her tweets were available on the microblogging site.