As the battle of 2019 intensifies, so has the audacity and the brazenness with which some media houses are peddling fake news and creating narratives out of thin air. BJP’s national general secretary, Ram Madhav’s interview with Bloomberg has become the target of one such fake news peddling. Several media outlets reported that Ram Madhav has conceded that BJP will need allies to come back to power. The NDTV, Business Standard and several other outlets reported the news with similar headlines. The driving narrative here, as the media sought to establish, is that Ram Madhav has acknowledged that BJP will not be able to reach the majority mark and will need additional allies to form the government. This is a big admission especially considering BJP is riding on perhaps a bigger wave than what was witnessed in 2014. The remarks by a senior BJP leader, as the media saw it, is an admission of weakness.
The only problem with the said narrative is that Ram Madhav never conceded any such thing. Let us take a look at what exactly Ram Madhav said during the interview.
Another mainstream media hit-job. While @rammadhavbjp clearly says BJP is confident of returning to power 'with NDA alliance partners' media twists it as 'BJP will need allies to win'..Anyone can tell the stark difference b/w these 2 sentences but not Indian media, apparently. pic.twitter.com/2Ly1zDS4HN
— Ashish Dwivedi (@ashish_dw93) May 6, 2019
As is clear in the video, Ram Madhav replies to the question, “Are you going to win the majority again?” with “We are confident of securing majority, absolute majority either independently, BJP itself, or at least together with our NDA alliance partners. We are quite confident of securing the majority.” As is evident with the statement, the narrative of ‘admission of weakness’ that media is peddling is completely false. Ram Madhav repeatedly asserts the confidence of BJP securing majority. Now, coming to the question of ‘needing allies’, he categorically states that the ‘allies’ he is talking about are the NDA coalition partners and not some outside support that BJP will need in the aftermath of the poll. Even Bloomberg itself, while getting the headline right, chose to peddle the agenda in the first paragraph.
It is interesting to note here that the media narrative which claims ‘BJP will need allies to come back to power’ and Ram Madhav’s statement of ‘BJP is coming back to power with allies’ are two completely different, poles apart assertions. While the former seems like the desperation of a losing party and speaking from a position of weakness, the latter is that of a confident leader asserting his conviction in party’s performance coming out of a position of strength. The media, knowingly, choose to go with the former one.
The issue of twisting this statement by the media is not limited to show that BJP is not confident of returning to power only. The other, perhaps more sinister agenda here is to portray some sort of parallel power center in the BJP led by Ram Madhav who is trying to undermine the party by showing its weakness during crucial phases of the elections. Despite the narrative of parallel power centers in BJP being debunked repeatedly, the media still keeps harping on it. Since 2014, similar narratives have been peddled by the media centered on Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari. Now, the opposition-friendly media is targeting Ram Madhav in their elusive search for mythical division in the party. As has happened in the past as well, the narrative has bit the dust almost immediately.