Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

A massive controversy has erupted over alleged assault of an ‘India News’ journalist at Raebareli by the Congress party workers on Tuesday and asking of inappropriate question by the party's MP Rahul Gandhi.

In a video released by the television channel, Rahul is found asking journalist Shiv Prasad Yadav, his name, and also about the owner of the channel.

Rahul is heard asking party workers on the mic not to assault the journalist and asking him the name of the owner of his TV channel.

“Kya wo OBC hai? Nahin. Kya wo Dalit hai? Nahin (Is he OBC? No. Is he Dalit? No),” Rahul asked.

“Media ke hain aap? Naam kya hai aapka? Haan? Aap Shiv Prasad ji hain? Aapke maalik ka kya naam hai? Aapke maalik ka kya naam hain? Kya naam hai? Naam bataao. Naam bataao. Bhai maaro mat yaar. Maaro mat usko. Maarna nahin hai. Maarna nahin hai. Naam bataao uska. Wo OBC hai? Nahin. Wo Dalit hai? Nahin. (Are you from the media? What is your name? You are Shiv Prasad ji? What is your owner’s name? What is your owner’s name? What’s the name? Tell me the name. Tell me the name. Don’t hit him. Don’t beat him up. Tell his (owner’s) name. Is he OBC? No. Is he Dalit? No),” Rahul asked.

As per reports, the incident happened when the journalist was asking Congress workers not to remove his mic. He also asked Rahul why he was not being allowed to cover the event properly.

Meanwhile, UP BJP MLA Shalabh Mani Tripathi posted the India News video on X (earlier known as Twitter) and wrote, “Shiv Yadav’s only fault was that he was acting like a field journalist, and not like a Congress stooge.”

Responding to the development, head of Sunday Guardian, which is part of the same group as India News, Aishwarya Sharma said, “He had some injuries… he was quite scared… he may file a case. We are speaking to lawyers in our company. The caste slur, asking the caste, was also not proper. He is a reporter working for a long time. You (Rahul) can’t provoke the crowd and then say ‘mat maaro’ (don’t beat him). They are his own security people. So, he (Rahul) has to be more responsible.”

However, Congress dismissed the allegations. As per Congress spokesperson P L Punia, Rahul was only flagging the low representation of reserved categories in various sectors.

“Nothing like this happened but Rahulji asks in many meetings how many people from reserved categories are there in the media. He also asks about industry, top posts in government… This is part of nyaya (justice),” said Punia.