The Congress leadership and its supporters have managed to politicise the death of Rajiv Tyagi, saying that it was because of the constant attack by Sambit Patra on a live television debate, where the latter called Tyagi a traitor.
Both Tyagi and Patra were debating over the cause and effect of the east Bengaluru riots that resulted in the torching down of the home of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy after his nephew allegedly made a derogatory post about Prophet Mohammed on social media.
On the debate, Patra can be seen launching a scathing and slightly personal attack on the Congress leader. "Hamare ghar ke jaichando ne ghar ko loota hai,' Patra can be heard saying. He exclaims that while "they are burning houses, here this jaichand (traitor) was shying away from taking names".
"By applying a tika, you don’t become a true Hindu," he adds, even as Tyagi can be seen trying to respond.
Naturally, after Tyagi’s death, a number of Congress members were braying for Patra’s blood, with some calling for his arrest, rather than honouring Tyagi’s memory for the work he had done for the Congress.
For those who aren’t aware, Tyagi was Congress National Spokesperson and also General Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee. He was appointed as a Spokesperson alongside Syed Naseer Hussain, Pawan Khera, Jaiveer Shergill, Ragini Nayak and Gourav Vallabh in 2018.
In October 2019, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi had appointed him as the party's media in-charge in Uttar Pradesh. He had also handled the media in Mumbai in 2019 during the Maharashtra Assembly polls.
Naturally, Twitter slammed the Congress for politicising Tyagi’s death after the party members such as Gaurav Pandi called for Patra’s arrest.
However, there were many who sat on the centre of the fence and blamed both the BJP and the Congress for politicising deaths. Even as the BJP defended Patra and criticised the Congress, Twitter users reminded the ruling party on how the death of the soldiers from the Bihar Regiment at Galwan Valley was politicised ahead of the state elections that are scheduled in a few months.
Former journalist Nidhi Razdan, who has a history with Patra ever since she asked him to leave her show on live television, however, said that everyone was equally complicit. "Those who complain about TV news and the poison it has been reduced to - remember we are all complicit. Those who watch these channels ( and many do); those who advertise on them; and the so called editors who sold their souls and their conscience years ago," she tweeted.