The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Diwali Milan was graced by a string of TV anchors and officials of rightwing outfits at the party’s headquarters in Delhi on Friday. Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, Bharat24’s Rubika Liyaquat, Aaj Tak’s Sudhir Choudhary and Network18’s Rahul Shivshankar and Aman Chopra were some of the popular TV personalities at the event organised by the governing party.
Another notable guest, reportedly by BJP president JP Nadda, was right-wing outfit Sudarshan News’s Suresh Chavhanke – known for .
While Chavhanke’s channel was reportedly considered for a “complete ban” by the opposition parties in September, the popular TV anchors present at the BJP event had been “blacklisted” by the opposition INDIA alliance for and anti-opposition narratives.
Pictures from the event, also posted by Liyaquat, Chopra and Chavhanke, showed the journalists greeting PM Modi and taking selfies with him. Liyaquat tweeted that it was “another memorable meeting” with the Prime Minister, who she called “the world’s powerful personality”.
Meanwhile, Aman Chopra tweeted that he will “not let the country bow down”, addressing PM Modi as the “boss of the world”.
Chavhanke – who was by the Maharashtra police in June for “spreading religious hatred” – said he accepts the responsibilities given by PM Modi during his address at the event. He stated four points, including “free health checkups for journalists” and a “special programme for awareness about deepfake”.
PM Modi fact-checked over ‘deepfake’ video
During his address at the event, Prime Minister Modi elaborately spoke on the threats of deepfakes, which involves manipulation of facial appearance through artificial intelligence.
As he called deepfakes the “biggest threat” facing the Indian system, the PM cited a “deepfake video of him doing Garba”. As the news made it to social media, several X users and media outlets that the video was real, and was of PM Modi’s lookalike, actor Vikas Mahante.
In the viral video, Mahante – closely resembling Modi – can be seen dancing with some women. The video was reportedly first shared by Mahante on social media platforms on November 7, and was of a Diwali event in London.