Aaj Tak and India TV air BJP promotional content as news

A website called Modi Story published these videos much before they were telecast by the two channels.

WrittenBy:Basant Kumar
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Raghunandan Sharma, a senior BJP leader who was the coordinator of the party’s Madhya Pradesh office in 1991 when Narendra Modi was the state election in-charge, appears on Aaj Tak at 3 minutes 11 seconds and on India TV at 10 minutes 11 seconds.

Similarly, Sudha Yadav, who was recently included in the BJP's parliamentary board, can be seen on both the channels talking about how Modi handed her Rs 11 that was given to him by his mother to contest the election. The only difference is the video editor zoomed in on the byte on India TV. She appears on Aaj Tak at 2 minutes 10 seconds and on India TV at 13 minutes 14 seconds.

Nandkumar Sahu, a BJP leader from Chhattisgarh and former Raigarh MP, recounts a story about a wedding procession on Aaj Tak at 8 minutes 30 seconds and on India TV at 14 minutes 43 seconds.

BJP veteran Hiren Pathak, a former union minister, is similarly featured on both the channels. So is Manoranjan Kalia, a senior leader in Punjab BJP, who appears on Aaj Tak at 34 minutes 52 seconds, and on India TV post the 14-minute mark. Former Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani is also seen on the two channels, just like Mahendranath Sofat, a former Himachal minister erroneously referred to as Rajeev Bindal on Aaj Tak at one instance.

Recorded months ago

Several of these bytes were put out in the public domain months before the broadcast. Pathak’s quote, for example, was tweeted by Modi Story on September 11. Pathak told Newslaundry: “Around eight months ago, I got a call that an app named Modi Story was being made and I should share my memories of Modiji. I called them home and gave them an interview.”

Similarly, Yadav’s video was tweeted in June by union minister Piyush Goyal. Sofat, whose video was first tweeted by Modi Story on November 3, said, “This video was recorded before the Himachal Pradesh election. A team came to record it.”

Kalia told Newslaundry that his video was recorded over a year ago. Raghunandan Sharma’s byte was tweeted by Modi Story on December 9.

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