New Delhi, July 22 : While politicians are debating the Indo-US nuclear deal inside Parliament, makeshift studios have sprung up outside on its lush green lawns as frenzied media personnel zip around to get the best out of the unfolding situation.
All possible arrangements have been made to cover the crucial trust vote by around 50 news channels and if not more than an equal number of newspapers and magazines.
Media persons covering the political beat recall the difference between the coverage of the trust vote in May 1999 sought by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government when there were hardly three to four news channels and the ongoing trust vote in the Congress- led Dr. Manmohan Singh coalition Government being covered by more than 50 TV news channels.
"The big difference in the Indian media is just the number of news channels that you had when Vajpayee had his trust vote, we had three to four news channels. Therefore, the coverage has become much more extensive. Every little detail is being monitored. Every MP, who is shifting which side, it's become like a carnival, like everything else in this country," said Rajdeep Sardesai, a senior electronic media journalist.
The entire nation is eagerly tracking the confidence vote and all the related developments in and outside the Parliament that will decide the fate of Dr. Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) having been reduced to a minority government after their Communist allies withdrew support over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
"The media's role has always been the same. Whenever something like this happens, we will have to cover. You can see the amount of readership interest or viewership interest in this. Everybody wants to know what is happening," said Javed Ansari, a senior print journalist. stampede like situation prevails every time a Member of Parliament walks out of the house. Media personnel literally fight a fierce battle in an up-manship to get the 'news'.
One such reported event was that of reporters of rival channels simultaneously chasing former Lok Sabha Speaker, Manohar Joshi for an 'exclusive interview'. It is anybody's guess how Joshi would have felt amidst all that commotion inside as well as outside the 'house'.
Many reporters, journalists and cameramen were seen taking breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner in the lawns of the Parliament house itself, lest they skip an important 'development'.
The Prime Minister formally moved on Monday, a vote of confidence motion in parliament, kicking off a two-day long debate that will decide the fate of his government and of the Indo-US nuclear deal with the United States.
The actual vote is due this evening. According to analysts, the vote is going to be too close to call. By Pankaj Yadav