The Congress party is in a tight spot after Zee News brought to light a video that shows 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were raised at an election rally addressed by senior party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu. However, party leaders remained defiant and instead accused Zee News of playing a 'fake video'. DNA spoke to Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary:
Congress says Zee News has shown a fake video and no 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan was raised. Is it a correct allegation?
I outright deny the allegation that the video is fake. It is 100 per cent authentic. To prove this, we have at least seven other feeds that were being recorded live and every feed has the same slogan at the same time. It has become fashionable now that when a leader of Congress is caught red-handed, the party comes to his defence by terming the video to be a fake. This is nothing but yet another Congress tactic to get out of the situation. Zee News completely stands by its video.
Sidhu has also threatened and claimed "nani yaad dila denge". How do you respond?
I strongly object to the language used by Navjot Singh Sidhu. The Congress always claims that the party believes in freedom of expression and in democratic values. They are the oldest party of the country, but when one of its prominent leaders uses such foul language, it is clearly an attempt to muzzle the voice of the media for not toeing their party line. It shows that the Congress and its leaders' arrogance is at its zenith.
Even the Editors Guild of India has not spoken on the issue. What is the next course of action?
Zee News always believes in the democratic system of the country. We believe in the legal system so will take all the steps within the legal framework to seek justice. We have sent our written complaint to News Broadcasters Associations and another to the Editors Guild of India. We have also sent a complaint to the Election Commission of India. If need be, we will move the court. So, we are registering our protest against the stance taken by the Congress, but in a democratic way. It is disheartening that the Editors Guild has not taken cognizance, but I hope that a large part of the media will support our campaign. I also believe that this is not just our fight, it must be seen as the fight of the entire media fraternity.
Is Sidhu doing this on his own or does he have his party's backing?
In such a large set-up like Congress, a leader like Sidhu can't do it alone. You must have seen that when he went to Pakistan, his own Chief Minister Amarinder Singh didn't want him to go. But after returning from Pakistan, Sidhu stated clearly that his captain is not Amarinder, but Rahul Gandhi. Rahul disagreed then, but this has the full top brass' approval for his actions.