After a controversial chat with former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta was leaked to the media, Arnab Goswami, Firebrand host and senior official of the Republic of India Television, faced re-examination.
In one of the conversations with Dasgupta, Goswami hinted at “something big” to happen just three days before India’s failed attack on Balakot in 2019.
“At 10pm on February 23, three days before the Balakot strike, the conversation begins with [Mr] Goswami boasting about Republic TV bagging then Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s first-ever interview after the Pulwama incident,” read a news report published in The Hindu.
During the chat, Goswami texted Dasgupta: “On another note, something big will happen”. To which the BRC CEO asked, “Dawood?”
“No sir Pakistan. Something major will be done this time,” Goswami responded.
Given that the 2019 general election was just a few months away, Dasgupta remarked: “It’s good for the big man in this season” and that “he will sweep polls then,” referring to the extra votes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would get from initiating aggression against Pakistan in election season.
Daagupta then asked for further clarity: “Strike? Or bigger”. And Goswami reportedly responded, saying that it would be “bigger than a normal strike”.
He went on to add: “And also at the same time something major on Kashmir … The government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used.”
After the disclosure, senior leaders of the Congress Party raised serious questions about the safety of India’s operations.
Party spokesperson and senior Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “Arnab’s chats dated 23.02.2019 refer to sharing of Intel reaction along the Pak border. It means someone very senior in Govt is leaking highly confidential info which may endanger the lives of our soldiers and so that mercenary considerations can add to TRPs.”