India True Face Of Indian Journalists


Apr 3, 2005

Barkha Dutt And Nira Radia Transcript

19th Nov, 2010: The recent unearthing of transcripts of conversations between Barkha Dutt, group editor of NDTV, and Nira Radia, a powerful PR consultant and lobbyist who represents the Tatas and the Ambanis, has created an uproar over the extent of influence journalists and lobbyists allegedly exercise on engineering governments in our country.

While Dutt and her employer, NDTV, rubbished the allegations, and called the conversations just 'Ethical Gathering Of Information', the conversations between Dutt and Radia, being interpreted by many as the duo functioning as mediators between and the Congress and the DMK in the negotiations for allotment of union cabinet portfolios for the DMK, have certainly been caught in the eye of a storm.

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The DMK had been instrumental in bringing the UPA government back to power again in the 2009 general elections. But what followed was a prolonged stalemate during which the DMK allegedly threatened to withdraw its support unless it was given the 3 Cabinet and 4 Minister Of State berths it had been pressing for for a long time.

The conversations are being interpreted by many people as revealing how Barkha Dutt and Nira Radia acted as agents of the involved parties and orchestrated the distribution of portfolios among the DMK members. Barkha Dutt allegedly even got Ghulam Nabi Azad, former J&K minister and the present Congress party's general secretary in charge of Tamil Nadu affairs, to talk to Kanimozhi, Karunanidhi's daughter, about the Congress' preferences.

In the whole tussle for power, T R Baalu, the shipping minister of the previous government, was left out to bite the dust, and A Raja's name was proposed to take care of one of the portfolios.

In the conversation between Vir Sanghvi, editorial director of Hindustan Times, and Nira Radia, Radia appears to almost dictate to the journalist what he should write on Anil Ambani and the gas controversy.