Noisy scenes were witnessed in the Maharashtra legislative assembly on Tuesday after Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik moved a privilege motion against Republic TV's Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, for his alleged derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, ministers and the members of the House. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab seconded the motion, sought its acceptance and called for stern action against Goswami. However, the opposing BJP members shouted slogans, causing the treasury bench members to insist they maintain House decorum.
In his submission, Sarnaik accused Goswami of using “derogatory language” and making baseless remarks against Uddhav and NCP president Sharad Pawar. The Shiv Sena MLA further claimed that Goswami often insulted ministers, MPs and legislators during TV debates. Besides, Goswami had made unfounded charges against many in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, Sarnaik held.
Parab claimed that under the garb of freedom of expression, the image of the CM, ministers and senior leaders had been maligned. ''There is a legislation empowering action against those indulging in violence against the media but there is no check on Goswami, who has been levelling allegations and mouthing scathing criticism of the members of the august House,’’ he said.
Amid slogan-shouting by the opposition, Parab said, ''When someone targets the Prime Minister, you get angry. Then why don’t you feel the same angst when someone wrongfully targets the chief minister?”
Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirval, in his ruling, said action would be taken as per legislative rules. However, Sarnaik made a strong case for a statement from the Home Minister.
In a related development, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered a fresh inquiry into the suicide of architect Anvay Naik, after Arnab Goswami allegedly failed to pay him Rs 90 lakh for his work at the Republic studio. Deshmukh said he was acting on the basis of the letter submitted by Shiv Sena MLAs Sunil Prabhu and Pratap Sarnaik and representations made by Naik’s wife and daughter.