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Mudda panellists feel parties should openly chastise leaders who get desperate for media spotlight; these follow a certain pattern and take nation back by centuries 

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has been summoned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making a series of controversial statements. The chief minister advised the youth to not run after politicians for government jobs and, instead, milk cows and open paan shops. The habit of politicians of making irresponsible remarks is on the rise. Why is this so? APN’s popular debate Mudda took up the issue. Anchorperson Anant Tyagi posed questions to panellists including BJP’s Ashok Goyal, Congress’ Surendra Rajput, CPI’s Vivek Shrivastava, NCP’s Nawab Malik, political expert Haseeb Siddiqui, philosopher Dr KK Tripathi and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Tripathi said: “It’s a desperate attempt to remain in the media spotlight.”

Rajput said: “I can say that at least Congress is only fighting real issues. With the BJP, it’s a fashion to make irresponsible statements. PM Modi takes the lead in this. Modi spoke of pakora shops, Deb has now mentioned paan shops. I challenge the TV channel to show statements made by all leaders, including Digvijay Singh.”

Siddiqui said: “In UP, Mayawati was at the receiving end of an uncharitable remark by a BJP leader. The BJP leaders did not get ticket, but his wife did. This silsila goes on. Parties should openly chastise people making irresponsible remarks.”

Shrivastava said: “It’s the difference between good governance and misgovernance.”

Raju said: “No remark should be made against weaker sections, women, or targeting any particular community. That’s not good for social amity.”

Malik said: “The trend of making irresponsible statements is reflective of people’s thinking. It shows the levels leaders can descend to just for publicity.”

Anant discussed with Rajput Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s reference to terrorist Osama Bin Laden as “Osamaji”. Later Singh had said his remark was deliberately made controversial by the media who missed the sarcasm in it.

Siddiqui said:”Such remarks get us many centuries behind. “

Raju said:”It depends on the audience as well. You cannot spread malicious falsities. Leaders should bear in mind that the country has a huge youth population, and we all need to set better examples.”

Shrivastava said: “Not that leaders of other parties are not indulging in any remarks, but the remarks made by the BJP are of a certain type. BJP is working out a particular agenda and wants to rewrite the past. These remarks are of a particular design. Digvijay’s remark was a slip of the tongue. See the difference in motives. No generalisations here.”

Tripathi said:”It is clear that remarks made by BJP leaders have a set propaganda. The last general elections were won by the BJP solely based on its propaganda.”

Rajput said:”Leaders should dump agendas, and focus on duties and responsibilities. There is more to a politician’s work than just winning an election at any cost. Making agenda-specific remarks is a criminal offence.”

—Compiled by Niti Singh Bhandari

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