Speeches by Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi dominated page 1.
Day two of the opposition’s no-confidence motion unfolded in the Lok Sabha yesterday. Rahul Gandhi said the BJP government had “murdered Bharat Mata in Manipur”, Amit Shah came to the Manipur chief minister’s defence, and Smriti Irani called Gandhi a misogynist for blowing a “flying kiss”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to speak today.
In the midst of this mayhem, how did this morning’s papers report on what went down?
The top headline of the Indian Express in Delhi pointed out that Gandhi’s remarks on murdering Bharat Mata had been expunged from the House records on the orders of the Chair. A second story alongside this one quoted Shah as appealing for peace in Manipur.
The newspaper’s editorial called Gandhi’s speech a “missed opportunity” for “spiralling, precipitously, into a plague-on-all-your-houses name-calling”. “Gandhi’s accusations of political abdication could, at best, be described as plain anguish. In their sheer undifferentiatedness and un-specificness, they were, in fact, self-indulgent and opaque.”
The Hindu in Delhi also led with Shah and Gandhi. Gandhi led a “blistering attack on the Modi government” while Shah said it was a “greater shame that politics is being played” on Manipur.
The Times of India in Delhi carried the drama over the “flying kiss” on page 1, reporting that women MPs from the BJP had signed a letter objecting to Gandhi’s “indecent manner”. The newspaper also quoted the Congress as saying Gandhi got 40 percent less screentime on Sansad TV.
A snippet on page 1 noted that the Adani Group was “caught in the political crossfire in Lok Sabha” with both the BJP and Congress accusing each other of favouring it.
Hindustan Times had this headline on page 1: “Shah leads charge as Centre hits back in no-trust debate”. It highlighted Shah’s remark on the horrifying video from Manipur, showing Kuki women being paraded naked by a mob. He said, “Why did the video surface a day before the Parliament session was to begin?”
The Telegraph in Kolkata kept it controversial with this headline splashed across page 1: “Assassins of Bharat Mata in Manipur”.
“One of the greatest mysteries in recent memory has been cracked: what was Narendra Modi doing when Manipur was burning?” said one report on page 1. It quoted Shah as saying: “The Prime Minister had called me at 4 in the night and also woke me up at 6.30 the following day.”
As debates raged in the House yesterday, Newslaundry watched proceedings on Sansad TV to check how much screentime the opposition got when compared to the BJP. The results won’t surprise you. Read all about it here.