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This article was first published 9 years ago  » News » Congress gets a taste of regime change

Congress gets a taste of regime change

By Renu Mittal
Last updated on: November 18, 2014 00:44 IST
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Congress leaders were in for a rude shock on Monday when the media sidelined their much-touted Jawaharlal Nehru birth anniversary event, and instead turned its full attention to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was addressing thousands of supporters in Sydney’s Allphones Arena

The media and even the audio-visual agencies virtually ignored the international conference being hosted by the party on the 125th birth anniversary of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi for the greater part of the day.

Private channels are not allowed to directly transmit from inside the Vigyan Bhawan, so they take their feed from Doordarshan. But even Doordarshan, which has been showing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speeches live, decided it was not interested in covering the conference despite the presence of international leaders and former heads of state.

It is learnt that NDTV carried some parts of party president Sonia Gandhi’s speech live, but soon they too started showing up events at the Allphones Arena in Olympic Park in Sydney, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing thousands.

Please read: No Congress invite to PM Modi for Nehru event

Most of the junior television reporters and Congress specialists in the media, who are usually very active on such occasions, were seen relaxing, with many of them making it clear that there was no point since the story was not being carried by their respective channels.

The Congress got a taste of what happens when regimes change.

In the morning, a senior police officer at the Vigyan Bhavan entrance decided to act tough, saying the media could not enter as they had no police clearance passes. Later in the evening, the caretaker refused to allow Congress workers to hold the press conference, claiming it had no clearance. He even refused to turn on the audio at the event for at least 10 minutes.

To add to the injury, the staff refused to bring in more plates for those who came in late in the media section at lunch, saying the bookings were only for a specified number of persons.

Among those who attended the event were West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy, Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, D Raja of the Communist Party of India, Sharad Yadav and K C Tyagi of the Janata Dal-United, Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular, D P Tripathi of the Nationalist Congress Party and Ajit Singh of the Lok Dal.

Though RJD leader Lalu Yadav was not present, party MP Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav was present at the conference.

Among those who did not attend were the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam, the All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, as well as the Biju Janata Dal.

Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the International Conference on the 125th birth anniversary of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Also seen in the picture are former prime minister Manmohan Singh (far right) and Afghanistan's former President Hamid Karzai (second from right).

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Renu Mittal in New Delhi
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