Exclusive: Times Now responsible for spoiling my image: Muthalik
Shreyas H S
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore/Hubli, Mar 25: Taking a sharp jibe at Times Now, Pramod Muthalik who lasted in BJP for a mere five hours, accused the national news channel of being 'vindictive' ever since 2008 and alleged that it was responsible for deliberately spoiling his image and putting his career at stake.
Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik in an exclusive interview to daijiworld over the phone contended, "I was truly unaware of the 2009 pub attack when it was taking place in Mangalore. I was in Pune at the time. I have not made a single public statement that I had hatched the conspiracy to attack the pub."
Nevertheless, he also came in defence of the attack and said, 'the way the women were treated during the attack was condemnable, but not the attack against the pub that was aimed at protecting Indian culture'.
When asked why he was pointing fingers at a single channel when most of the channels had stood against the 2009 incident, he continued pouring the blame on Times Now alleging that it was playing a 'revenge' game, and was the first and the only channel to rake up 2009 attack, and not in the interest of the nation but as a tool for revenge. "This is bad journalism," he lashed out.
Revealing specifics, he said in the year 2008, Times Group was readying itself to hold a fashion show in Mangalore that was later thwarted by the Sri Rama Sene. Though the Times Group made all efforts to stage the show, even requesting the then BJP-JD(S) government for support, all went in vain, he said.
"The channel vented its frustration to tarnish my image in the year 2009. The channel sold CDs of the footage to other news channels to magnify the incident more than necessary," he alleged.
"Now the case is pending in the court, and the court will decides. Times Now is not a judicial body; they act as they are the highest authority of the nation on passing judgements. This is a dangerous development in the country. Times Now seems to be an anti-national channel," he slammed.
When asked about his sudden removal from the party just five hours after induction, he said, “I joined the party on the directions of RSS leaders and not of the BJP. I was surprised by the sudden decision of the party."
He went on to add, "The BJP's decision was taken after Times Now started playing the file footage of the pub attack incident forcing the senior party leaders to reconsider their stand.
"The pub attack case against me was lodged suo motu by the then BJP government. Not a single girl or a boy dancing in the pub filed a case against me," he claimed.
He also said that currently BJP senior leader Ananth Kumar’s name is cropping up as the person who persuaded the high command to reverse the state BJP's decision. Muthalik said he has sent his agents to exactly find out the man behind the move. He has also asked the RSS to take a quick decision within the next few hours, failing which he would rebel against the BJP.