Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party (SP) will no longer boycott 14 TV news anchors, as announced by the opposition INDIA bloc a few months ago.
“Now that the Congress party’s leaders are not following the boycott, why should the SP follow it? The SP will not boycott,” said Ameeque Jamei, a party spokesman.
The decision has further sent signals about differences among the INDIA bloc parties.
The SP, along with the other constituents of the INDIA bloc, had earlier agreed by consensus that none of the alliance leaders will participate in debates anchored by these 14 news anchors.
“Our party leadership has communicated to all spokespersons and television debate panellists that they there will be no boycott of select television anchors any longer. The party leaders are free to appear as panellists in television debates,” the senior SP leader said.
Highly placed sources in the SP said the decision was taken keeping in mind the recent interviews that the Congress’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, gave to two news anchors who were a part of the list released by the alliance.
The decision was taken in September in the first meeting of the INDIA coordination committee at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
“Congress leader Pawan Khera had formally proposed that all alliance partners should stay away from shows of these 14 anchors. But during Madhya Pradesh polls, Kamal Nath gave interviews and offered chopper rides to two of these anchors. Where is the boycott now?” he asked.