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Why is there a fear to question Amit Shah?

By Naveelah Ishteyaque
Updated on :
150-seat target for BJP in Gujarat assembly election: Amit Shah
Image: indianexpress

Amit Shah was recently caught in a controversy pertaining to over ‘300% increase in his total assets. However, the BJP on Monday issued a statement saying Shah was being wrongly targeted by political opponents and that the growth in his wealth was due to the movable properties he inherited after his mother’s death in 2013.

The controversy came to the fore as he was filing his nomination for 2017 Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat. Shah declared movable assets worth Rs 19.01 crore and immovable properties worth Rs 15.30 crore – a total of Rs 34.31 crore. This was a hefty jump from his 2012 affidavit, which he had filed as an MLA candidate. In his previous affidavit, five years ago, he had declared movable assets worth Rs 1.90 crore and immovable properties worth Rs 6.63 crore.

The stories on Amit Shah’s hefty increase in wealth were earlier published by few major media houses such as Times of India, Navbharat Times and DNA. However, later the stories disappeared from their websites. No explanation has been given and no editor is willing to take responsibility for having pulled the plug on the news item.

This deletion of such reports from major media houses has precipitated a discussion as well as raised certain questions that how some people/organization have become so bankrupt in their ideology that they have deviated from everything which was so dear to them once (passion for Journalism).

Allegations have speculated from opposition parties saying that “Where are the champions of the free press? Do they have a face to talk about the independence of press and freedom of expression? The allegations are truly justified. Journalism is not about compulsion, it is about courage.

Taking about the free press and journalism ethics, it reminds of a recent press- conference of Amit Shah in Lucknow. The press conference was held on 31 July (Monday) to talk about the achievement of BJP government in these three years and never to discuss the communal incidents and how it has increased approximately 41% during BJP govt. Neither did any of big media delegates and reporters dared to ask such questions.

Why is it that media-persons are scared of asking Shah difficult questions? No reporters dared to question Shah on his assets reports getting vanished from the TOI and DNA sites in the recent press-conference. Neither was any question raised against BJP- Government. Perhaps the reporters were reminded of his interview in Bihar, where he too was furious and chastised Rahul Kanwal for asking inappropriate questions. It appears as BJP leaders are happy with the accolades but are furious with any criticism.

Amit Shah’s career started in 1997 by becoming MLA from Sarkhej assembly seat. In 2003 he was a junior home minister under Narendra Modi. In the 2007 Assembly election, he won from Sarkhej again, improving his margin of victory. In 2010, CBI arrested him in Sohrabuddin case.

CBI again named Amit Shah in Prajapati murder case in the same year. In 2013, he was made in-charge of BJP in UP. His name again figured in Ishrat Jahan killing case. The latest charge came in the year 2016 when a senior bureaucrat BK Bansal committed suicide and left behind a note blaming Amit Shah along with five other CBI officers for his death.

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Later in the same year, Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, attacked media for not questioning Shah on Bansal’s suicide note. He further said, “Amit Shah is a black spot on political virtuousness.”

Agree to his black spot statement or not but definitely, we can call this black era for journalism where media houses lack the courage to question BJP on the past and present criminal records of their leaders.

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