Journalist heckled: Why Congress must not defend Robert Vadra this time

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Robert Vadra landed in a fresh controversy as he was caught on camera for losing his cool and pushing away a journalist who asked him questions regarding land deal in Haryana.
Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra is once again in news and this time it is not the BJP responsible for the same. But this time the man has himself managed to grab media attention by doing roughing up and misbehaving with a journalist.

What did Robert Vadra do?

Robert Vadra landed in a fresh controversy as he was caught on camera for losing his cool and pushing away a journalist who asked him questions regarding land deal in Haryana.

The Congress president's son-in-law was in an inaugural ceremony of a fitness centre at Ashoka Hotel in Delhi on Saturday, became adamant when the journalist posed a question regarding land deal. A furious Vadra asked, "Are you serious, are you serious? Put your camera off. Are you nuts?"

Vadra was not only seen pushing the ANI, a leading news agency, reporter's mic away but his men reportedly went on pressurised the reporter and his camera person to delete clips of the interview from the camera.

Vadra still defiant

Vadra, who has not apologised yet for his gross attitude later clarified with a statement that he was unaware of the fact that the journalist was from ANI.

In the official statement, Vadra claimed, "I thought the question was asked by a private photographer."

What made Mr Vadra feel so offended that he crossed his limit?

This reflects nothing but Mr. Vadra's arrogance and that he can behave with anyone in whatever way he wishes. At a time when others use the term "no comments" to avoid blunt questions from journalists, Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law - who considers himself an elite - roughs up the reporter who is doing his job.

It seems Mr Vadra has not yet realised that his mother-in-law's party is no more in power at Centre and she couldn't shield him.

Congress' brazen defence

But, what is more shocking is the brazen defence of the Congress which instead of asking Vadra for tendering his apology is blaming the media for unnecessarily hounding him.

Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader and a loyalist of 10 Janpath, Digvijay Singh came to his rescue and aid he is amazed by the media attention given to a minor incident involving the Congress president's son-in-law.

Digvijay took to micro-blogging site twitter and wrote, "I am amazed by the Media attention given to a minor incident involving Robert Vadhra. Why a private Citizen being unnecessarily hounded?"

"If he has violated any Law Prosecute him. If has ill gotten wealth confiscate it, but this unnecessary media attention is not justified," he added.

"We Politicians are feeling jealous of the Media Attention which Robert is getting. We are the real Punching Bags for you. Spare him!" added Singh.

The Congress has started raking up incidents in the past when other politicians had misbehaved with the journalists and calling the present episode as a propagated political agenda.

BJP gets a fodder to attack Vadra

This development has given Congress' rival BJP another chance to attack the former for shamelessly defending Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law. Taking potshots at Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, the BJP on Sunday described Vadra's action towards the journalist as 'monarchial highhandedness' and said it is not sober to do so in a democracy.

"This is not a minor incident, assaulting journalism is monarchial highhandedness and it is not sober to do so in a democracy. It is an irony that Digvijay Singh says that whatever Mr. Vadra did with the journalist friend was a minor incident," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told ANI.

Not only BJP, leaders across the political spectrum slammed Vadra for losing his temper when the the bitter question could have avoided by simply saying "no comments".

Why Robert Vadra must apologise?

Robert Vadra must apologise to the media person for obvious reasons. Mr Robert Vadra must remember that his name is still associated with a controversial land deal in Haryana and his role in the deal is being probed. Hence, he cannot escape from the media's questions. And he has no right to behave with any person for asking him a question.

Both he as well as the media enjoy freedom of expression and hence both should not cross their respective limits. The media person did not cross his limit, by posing a simple question over former's involvement in a particular scam he was just doing his job, then what made Mr Vadra feel so offended that he crossed his limit?

The way he behaved shows his ignorance of the Constitution's freedom of expression and also shows his misuse of power.

The Congress should also not try and defend Mr Vadra for he is caught on camera showing his arrogance and it will not be in party's interest which is already on the back foot for helping Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law flourish by making controversial deals. Apologising for one's folly will not decrease the party's image but not doing so might just go against it.

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