Top UpA minister hAd grAbbed A womAn tv reporter
While pressure mounted on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove Union Minister of State for External Affairs and former editor M.J. Akbar from the Council of Ministers, not many are aware of an incident involving a top minister during the UPA regime. He was lucky as the #MeToo movement had not started then. It happened on the night of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. When the commercial capital of the country was burning, a young woman reporter of a major television channel reached the minister’s official residence in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone to interview him. A large crowd of TV crews and print journalists was already there. When she announced her TV channel’s name, a personal staff member of the Minister immediately ushered her inside the residence to the surprise of other journalists. Her camera team was, however, not allowed entry. She was taken to the ante room and told that the “Saheb” would be there shortly. Excited, she sent an SMS to her boss that she was soon getting the Minister’s sound-bite. The TV channel’s main studio was put on alert, hoping that the Minister might give exclusive information for “breaking news” that “the nation wants to know”.
As the journalist in her mid-30s was interacting with her studio, she suddenly jumped as someone grabbed her from behind. She turned and saw that it was the Minister. “What are you doing?” she shouted. The Minister also shouted back, “Who are you? What are you doing here? Get out?”
Trembling, the poor girl walked out. It was clear that the Minister was “expecting” some other woman journalist. Seeing her coming out so fast, other journalists noticed her being upset and inquired what had happened.
Angry, she went to a corner and tweeted the entire incident that had shaken her to the core. Within 15 minutes, her boss, who, at the time was in London, was talking to her, asking her to delete her tweet. She refused.
By now alarmed over her tweet, the Minister had obviously spoken to her bossy boss. The Minister also reportedly telephoned the owners