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I predict a winter Lok Sabha election this year: Rajdeep Sardesai

IBNLive.com
Mar 22, 2013 at 05:52pm IST

Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, IBN18 Network joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on important news developments of the week.

Q. What should have been India strategy towards SL problem? Asked by: BSG

A. I think India got its strategy on Sri Lanka right in the end. You cannot confront a neighbour, but have to walk a diplomatic tightrope. At the same time, the govt should have taken its allies and the opposition into confidence: unilateralism of any kind is dangerous in the coalition era, especially when it involves allies and an emotive issue like human rights of Lankan Tamils.

I predict a winter Lok Sabha election this year: Rajdeep Sardesai

Rajdeep Sardesai joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on important news developments of the week.

Q. Do you feel that the Sanjay Dutt issue is being covered too much and more imp issue of Maha Drought needs urgent attn esp Mr Katju should speak more on that and not this. Asked by: AS

A. Couldn't agree with you more. There should be relentless and continuous coverage of the M'tra drought. At the same time, Sanjay Dutt was a big story yesterday and Justice Katju's comments have reopened a debate on commuting his sentence. Having said that, I do believe Justice Katju should speak less on issues that are not within his domain as PCI chairman.

Q. How long will we continue to please ourselves by winning on spinner friendly Indian pitches? How many innings will Pujara, Dhavan and Murli take to score 1000 runs on overseas pitches? Asked by: Ketan

A. We're winning at the moment, lets savour the victories. Yes, pitches like the one in Delhi will not prepare us for overseas battles, but then I guess we will always be tigers at home, lambs abroad.

Q. Your guess.. when will the election be held? Asked by: sandeep

A. I am not a betting man or an astrologer. But if I wore my political pundit hat, I would predict a winter election this year.

Q. Sir, does NDA has strong chance to win this time? Asked by: Sandesh Kumar K N

A. NDA can emerge the single largest pre-poll alliance. Whether it can form a govt in 2014, will depend on post poll alliances.

Q. Sir..Modi's clamour for PM is growing day by day nd its scary for a muslim like me..He hasn't expressed any sort of regret or apology..Do you think my apprehensions are unfounded or should i give this man a chance?! Asked by: Nagma

A. Look Narendra Modi is an impressive speaker and has a strong track record as Gujarat chief minister on economic governance. He is, however, like it or not, a polarising figure. I don't think though you should fear his rise as a Muslim, rather listen to him without prejudice and make up your mind whether you would like him to be prime minister. Judge him on his credentials, good, bad and ugly without pre-conceived notions.

Q. Why were not equally angered when Modi was disinvited by Wharton, as you were with when same happened with Salman Rushdie. Asked by: Yagyesh

A. Please see my editors take and India at 9 debate on the day Modi was disinvited. I believe Wharton made a mistake by 'disinviting' Modi. If you oppose him ideologically, engage, question and criticise him, but why ostracise him? Liberal democracy must remain a debate over ideas, it cannot be furthered by shunning engagement.

Q. What do you make of contempt notice served on Nikhil wagale in Maharashtra...do you think Mr Wagale has gone overboard by calling MLAs "Mavali". Asked by: ashwin Tayade

A. If an MLA beats up a constable in the state assembly, is he not a 'Mawali'? Privilege is used by those in power to avoid criticism. There is no space for abuse in the media, but when someone commits an undoubted wrong, they must be criticised. In this instance, the MLAs have lost their 'privilege' with their ghastly behaviour.

Q. You have been trolled on twitter but always react in a calm and funny manner! Whats the secret of yours to keep calm? Asked by: Ramchandra

A. I am learning that staying calm and retaining one's sense of humour is the best way to deal with trolls. As i said the other day, I can live with trolls, cant live without my morning stroll. I live in the present and turn to nature for inner peace.

Q. How do you look at Nitish Kumar's show of strength in Delhi? Is it just posturing? Do you think BJP can gain by going alone in Bihar in 2014? Asked by: Oliver

A. I think Nitish is looking at the possibility of leading a potential third front in the next election. The BJP could well risk going it alone in Bihar, but losing allies can often halt momentum and the BJP will have to be conscious of that.

Q. Candidate you would love to see as PM? Asked by: Yaseen

A. Azim Premji for prime minister? Compassionte capitalism with a strong social consciousness is what this country needs. More seriously, not sure who fits the bill.

Q. Don't you think that today's media particularly the English media are very judgmental while conducting debates at prime time. Asked by: Masoodi

A. Yes, I agree. We have become judge, jury and prosecutor in our nightly debates. Guess there are viewers who like to see the studio as a courtroom, others would prefer a newsroom to give news, not thrust personal views. You cant please everyone.

Q. How would you rate MMS as PM in last 9 years? Asked by: MOIN

A. In his first five years, i would give Dr Singh 6 on 10. He did a much better than expected performance as PM. In the last four years, I would give him 2 on 10: he has lost the plot.

Q. Why are these people clamouring for pardoning sanju baba? Only because he's in limelight? Do you think it will send out wrong message to all rich guys that you can get away with anything? In name of riots can I get a AK56? Asked by: UncleKing

A. I agree. Once a court has pronounced a judgement, a pardon must be based on solid grounds not on sentiment. If an aam admi was found in a notified area with an AK 56 don't think too many celebrities would speak up for him.

Q. How you see decision of DMK affecting national politics, do you predict a realignment between ADMK & Congress Asked by: Dona

A. Think the DMK decision could temporarily realign political forces in TN. it will be interesting to see what stand Vijaykanth takes. However, don't rule out the DMK forging a pre-poll or post alliance with whoever comes to power in Delhi: they are past masters at playing power games with Delhi. Adman Suhel Seth once said that DMK is Daily/Delhi Money for Karunanidhi!

Q. Will B be able to cross 200 mark in 2014? Asked by: Abhijeet

A. The BJP's best performance so far has been 182 under Vajpayee's leadership in 1999. It will be tough for the BJP to match it, unless it can regain its hold in UP. UP holds the key to the BJP's fortunes in the next election.

Q. Rajdeep - from time to time you do concede that there's an unholy nexus between sections of the media and the political class & a conspiracy of silence. What can we do to tackle these issues? Asked by: Gaurang

A. Yes, there is a nexus between a section of the political class and a section of the media. But please don't damn all of us as 'paid media'; don't allow personal biases to shade your better judgement. If you have evidence of journalists on the payroll of a political party/individual, expose them with hard evidence, not by malicious campaigns of character assassination.

Q. Why do you give less time for new from so? Asked by: srinivas

A. Trust me, we make every effort to give news from the south. We could do much more I concede, but it is not for lack of trying I promise.

Q. You are one of the veterans in media we wish if exposures through your channels continue like the Robert Vadhra DLF or the latest ICICI/Axis bank issue by cobra. Any ways what is your take on both the issues. We wish an honest reply. Asked by: Khushal Bhargava

A. I believe there should be a transparent and independent probe into Vadra's land deals and the banking sting. These probes cant be taken to their logical conclusion by the media but by an independent agency empowered to investigate and prosecute.

Q. Good Evening Mr Sardesai, Why there wide spread sympathy for Sunil Dutt, is it justified? What's your view on it? Asked by: Praveen

A. I had high regard for Sunil Dutt. But I agree with you (and I replied to this earlier), sentiment cant decide law.

Q. I love your style when you analyse the election results on results day. Do you put extra energy on election result days? Asked by: srinivas

A. I love politics and enjoy covering elections. Guess that passion shows sometimes on election days.

Q. Why don't Top leading Media's doesn't covered the news about Students Hunger Strike when it started initially? They covered only it crossed 3-4 days. But when it comes about any actor or from Northern Side, they are covering spontaneously. By considering all, It proves that Medias are covering the news which gives huge TRP. When this situation gonna change? Its media's responsibility to cover all the news without any partiality. Asked by: Yuva Raj

A. We just did a half hour programme on Wednesday from Chennai on the students strike. News coverage is determined by priorities; to expect round the clock coverage would be seen by many as excessive.

Q. Why don't you expose the politics in CBI? Asked by: srinivas

A. Didn't you see our expose a few weeks back on how the CBI's public prosecutor was in regular touch with the accused in the 2 G scam. what greater evidence can there be of what's wrong with our premier investigative agency? The practise of CBI directors being made governors post retirement is also an unhealthy precedent.

Q. Does CNN-IBN entertains projects on social cause like supporting education in rural area, if yes would love to get in touch. Asked by: Yaseen Anwer

A. We run a number of socially inclusive programmes like Real Heroes, Citizen Journalism, India Positive, Superidols. More programmes with a human touch are on their way.

Q. Why did Ajit Pawar go scot free? This drought will probably roast Maharashtra, and has been caused due to him. Was the White Paper issued by the CM a white wash? Asked by: Roy

A. The Maharashtra irrigation white paper was a 'whitewash'. How can the govt conduct an independent probe against its own dept with fairness?

Q. Why is there a media blackout for Kejriwal? Is it because he went against corporates? and will you cover his anshan starting from tomorrow? Asked by: amit

A. Kejriwal's anshan will definitely be covered tomorrow. There is no media blackout of him. But please remember, news is constantly evolving; not every statement/action of Kejriwal is headlinable. When he makes news, he will be covered.

Q. We often hear psephologists say in TV debates that the Indian voter is very intelligent. Do you agree? Asked by: Oliver

A. The Indian voter has a strong instinct for what is in his best interest and knows the power of his vote. Doesn't that make him intelligent?

Q. Do you think Mamata will join UPA again? Is it because she is loosing her grip in Bengal? Asked by: Abhijeet

A. I can't rule out Mamata returning to the UPA fold, but much will depend on how the political situation evolves in the next few months. Mamata has limited options: she can either go it alone or look to be part of a 'federal front'. If neither works, she may well look at the Congress again.

Q. How you rate attempts made by Rahul Gandhi to professionalize Congress organization, will it change Indian Politics? Asked by: Dona

A. Rahul Gandhi must realise that a political organisation like the Congress is not a corporate. 'Professionalism' in politics is not what it means to a management executive. Let him first ensure that the Congress respects merit and its members, including himself, are more open to public scrutiny: that would be a good first step.

Q. Do you sincerely believe that CBI is used by only Cong for its advantage and BJP didn't use it when they were in Power? Asked by: Uttam

A. All ruling parties have used the CBI to their advantage: the Congress has been in power longer so is more practised at it!

Q. You think Kejriwal really wants to fight for aam aadmi or it is just an easy way to get national attention? Asked by: Uttam

A. I have enormous respect for Arvind's integrity and intellect. I don't think he is a self-publicist. But being a activist and a full time politician is a big difference and Arvind still needs to make that transition. Won't be easy.

Q. What percentage gain you see for BJP with NaMo being projected? Asked by: Uttam

A. I don't think BJP has any real option apart from projecting Modi for the top job.

Q. News channels have evolved over the years and in this evolution they now report less and create panic more. Your take Asked by: Roy

A. Yes, sense over sensationalism must become the mantra of every news channel. Sadly, don't see that happening in the near future.

Q. With Karnataka election schedule announced you see any chance for BJP to retain it's hold? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. I see Congress having a clear edge in Karnataka. Should be the single largest party, but will it form a govt on its own is a big question. Keep an eye on Deve Gowda.

Q. Cop thrashed by law makers in Mumbai. Does this signify that political muscle will continue to rule in democracy? Asked by: sundar1950in

A. What happened in the Maharashtra assembly is a new low in democracy. The state of Tilak and Gokhale is now the state of goondas.

Q. Hello Rajdeep, Do you feel entertainment media has in anyway contributed to crime in our society and specially sexual crime? Asked by: Yaseen

A. At the risk of repeating myself, don't shoot the messenger please. There is a section of the media which has trivialised news, even serious crime stories have been sensationalised. But lets not blame the media for rising crime; we are a society suffering from a lack of a moral compass.

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