Republic TV and Republic Bharat, respectively the English and Hindi language news channels of journalist Arnab Goswami, had claimed on 19 October and again today that their ‘sting’ operation has revealed a sinister plot of Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik to eliminate their chief editor. Soon after the channels made the allegation publicly, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy found a ‘Sushant Singh Rajput-style’ script that he alleged the Maharashtra government had written to “camouflage the supari for the Dubai Dada gang”.
Swamy has been on the forefront among all politicians of the country to campaign for justice in the Rajput case. He and the lawyer close to him, Ishkaran Singh Bhandari, made the Republic Network change the discourse on the dead actor from “nepotism” in Bollywood to a murder plot passed off as suicide. Actress Kangana Ranaut joined the bandwagon too.
The channels further claimed a “trap” was being laid for Goswami. The Maharashtra minister named above, they say, has “disclosed vile, diabolical and gory details” of the so-called trap, like saying, “Arnab could commit suicide.”
Swamy tweeted in response to a user that the Maharashtra government was readying a spin script similar to the one circulated for the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Swamy claimed this was a camouflage to keep a “Dubai-based gang” under the wraps.
“He is stuck in the TRP thing now. Let me tell you clear cut (sic). He will get trapped. I am telling you clear cut,” Malik reportedly said in course of the sting. The channels claimed Mumbai Police has its plot ready — a script similar to what they played out in the case of Rajput’s death. “The thing is that man will get a lot of problems. I am scared that what if he goes into… a zone himself. This is madness. It becomes a phobia. It gets created after a point of time,” he added.
Malik said, “He (Arnab Goswami) is driving himself mad. I am scared what if he commits suicide. What is happening is, the path he has taken, he sits inside (the studio) and is self-imposed. He thinks that the world works like this only and suddenly when he gets to know that there is nothing and everything is fake, then a person can do anything, right? He thinks that the whole system should work the way his mind wants and that he can do everything and anything but when it does not happen, the person goes into a different zone, right?”
Two days ago, another sting had exposed INC spokesperson Raghvendra Shukla saying that the Maharashtra government had formed a team with the sole agenda of targeting the two Republic channels. “Nobody can stop the shutting down of Republic,” the stung MVA insider says on-camera, putting forth that the ongoing attack against the channel is just the start.
Last week, India Today with the help of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had alleged that Republic was paying viewers to watch their channels whereas Arnab Goswami made a counter-allegation that the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) had, in fact, indicted India Today for the TRP-manipulating act.