Republic TV and the Maharashtra administration seem to have been at loggerheads for quite some time now. While the channel's reportage of the developments in actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death had raised many an eyebrow, the animosity can be traced further into the past.
In April, for example, Goswami had been interrogated for allegedly making "inflammatory statements" in the wake of the Palghar Sadhus lynching and using derogatory language against Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. And soon after, in June 2020, he had been summoned for yet another round of interrogation in connection with a complaint filed against him for allegedly creating communal disharmony through his show.
More recently, Republic TV has become embroiled in the TRP scam, with Param Bir Singh has identified three channels including Republic TV as they probe a possible TRP manipulation scheme. Roughly around the same time, the Khar Police had issued summons to Republic TV's Consulting Editor Pradeep Bhandari for allegedly assembling a crowd outside Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut's house at the time of its demolition last month. According to the channel, he had been "detained" by Mumbai Police for several hours on Saturday and was released after a massive uproar.
As the debate continues to rage, Republic TV on Monday conducted and aired a sting operation which shows a Congress leader explaining how "many intelligence departments had been asked to dig dirt on Republic". The video aired by Goswami's channel shows Raghvendra Shukla explaining that a team had been set up from the state government's and that they were "already at work".
"Like the TRP issue came up...in a couple of days another issue will come up," he alleges.
Calling it the "Target Republic conspiracy" the channel has since taken to Twitter sharing excerpts from the video as well as conducting a live debate to discuss the topic. It also quoted sources to state that the Congress was attempting to ascertain how the sting was carried out.
Who is Raghvendra Shukla?
Shukla is a political leader in Mumbai and is a spokesperson for the Mumbai Youth Congress. As per his Facebook profile, he is a political aide with the Congress and the President of Youth India Foundation.