Congress steps up attack on Centre over Arnab Goswami's chats
Stepping up its attack over WhatsApp chat leaks of Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami that showed the former may have had advance knowledge of the Balakot strike in 2019, the Congress party on Wednesday rallied its top guns to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah on what the party alleged was a breach of national security.
A day after former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi demanded a probe of the matter, the Congress fielded former defence minister AK Antony, former home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, the United Progressive Alliance government’s foreign minister Salman Khurshid and Rajya Sabha leader of the Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to allege that “the Arnab Goswami saga reveals an ugly spectre of inexcusable compromise with national security and an unforgivable trade off with the oath of Constitution by the Prime Minister-Home Minister and those holding high offices.”
In a purported WhatsApp chat with Partho Dasgupta, former chief executive officer of the television viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), three days before the Indian Air Force strike on a terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan, Goswami is purported to have said that “something big” would happen soon. The chat transcripts were part of a chargesheet filed by Mumbai Police last week.
The Congress leaders claimed in a statement that the chats “conclusively prove leaks of top secret information detrimental to national security & integrity” and held members of Cabinet committee on security responsible for the leak.
“The responsible Minister/Official violated the OSA (Official Secrets Act) and the Constitutional Oath of Secrecy- should be brought to book and sacked,” the Congress leaders said.
“The confidence with which Arnab Goswami flaunts his proximity with the Prime Minister and his office is shocking,” the leaders added.
Reacting to the developments, Goswami, in a statement on Tuesday, said: “I am horrified that the Congress party actually thinks that any journalist in India expressing the views publicly stated by the Government is committing a crime.”
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