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Politics

“Are you f***ing sold out?” Union Minister Babul Supriyo allegedly asks The Telgraph editor

Babul Supriyo said that he is recording the conversation, to which The Telegraph editor replied that the minister was free to put it in the public.

New Delhi|  Union Minister Babul Supriyo allegedly threatened and tried to intimidate The Telegraph journalist over the newspaper’s coverage of his visit to Jadavpur University on Thursday which turned violent.

According to a report published in the newspaper on Sunday, the Union minister of state for the environment called up the editor of the newspaper and demanded an ‘Amicable Apology’. When the editor refused, Supriyo said, “Are you “f***ing sold out?” According to the report, Supriyo even asked the editor if he knew he was talking to the Union Minister.

The report implies that the Union Minister was furious about the reporting of his Jadavpur University visit and even threatened to sue the news organization if not apologized.

What Happened at Jadavpur University?

There are different accounts of what happened at the university campus. According to the initial report, Babul Supriyo was visiting the University to attend an event arranged by BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). A group of students belonging to the left-leaning student outfits did not allow him to enter the University. However, after intervention by the authority, he was able to go inside. Things turned ugly when he tried to leave the campus after the event.

Several students surrounded the Minister and did not let him out. The Minister claimed that he was heckled and “pulled by hair”. The governor of the state had to intervene in the matter.

 

Babul Supriyo’s conversation with the Telegraph journalist:

Several news reports also presented a varying picture of the event alleging that the minister misbehaved with the female protestors. Referring to it Babul Supriyo, tweeted on Saturday,  “This is the video which shows I wasn’t elbowing anyone rather I was being pushed & manhandled with my shirt torn. It wasn’t a girl either-it was BEARDED GUY as clearly seen in the Video. If the Telegraph doesn’t apologize tomorrow for their false biased reporting, I’ll sue them.”

According to the report, the minister called The Telegraph editor R. Rajagopal on his mobile phone during the evening news meeting. He said that he would like an “amicable apology” from the organization. The editor then asked the minister, “‘What should we apologize for?”

The minister referred to the elbow complaint. However, Rajagopal said that they had not published an article in the newspaper that said the minister had elbowed anyone. He also categorically refused to apologize. When the minister threatened to sue them, the editor told him to send a letter or a legal notice, “following which established processes could be pursued”, mentioned the report.

On the insistence of the minister for an apology, the editor apparently replied:

“I am not a gentleman, I am a journalist You may be a central minister but I am also a citizen of this country.”

Supriyo even said that he is recording the conversation, to which Rajagopal replied that the minister was free to put it in the public so that people would know who said what. At this point, the Minister allegedly asked, “Are you sold out? Are you f***ing sold out?” The report claims that he used one more expletive.

The report further claims that the editor made it clear to the Union Minister that a report will be filed about this conversation in the newspaper.

After the conversation Supriyo reportedly tweeted, “Mr. Rajagopal, the arrogant editor of @ttindia just abused me in filthy lingo on the Telephone when I called him asking him to print an amicable small apology for falsely publishing a first-page report accusing me of grabbing the shirt of a JU student when it’s the other way round.”

 

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