Hardly a few weeks after Rajdeep Sardesai has returned to India Today after being suspended for spreading fake news, he’s back to doing what he does best.
Rajdeep Sardesai today claimed that Mamata Banerjee had said that she’d been “attacked by BJP workers” in Nandigram. “High drama in Nandigram,” Sardesai dramatically wrote on Twitter. “Mamata Banerjee injured, claims she was attacked by BJP workers in campaign, BJP says it’s all stage managed. The election will see many more twists and turns,” he added.
It was a sensational enough story, but there was a tiny problem — even Mamata Banerjee had never claimed that she’d been “attacked by BJP workers.”
In an interview after the supposed attack, Mamata Banerjee had merely said she was attacked by some “attackers”. But Rajdeep Sardesai, as is his wont, turned that into Mamata Banerjee saying she was attacked by “BJP workers.”
After Rajdeep’s tweet was called out for its inaccuracy by several people, he appeared to realize that he’d been caught, and deleted the tweet.
But this latest bit of fake news is right out of Rajdeep Sardesai’s Twitter playbook. Two months ago, he’d similarly claimed on Twitter that the President of India had mistakenly unveiled a portrait of an actor instead of Subhash Chandra Bose. The very next day, he’d dramatically claimed that a farmer protester had been shot dead by the Delhi Police. Both of his tweets very conclusively proven to be fake, the latter with CCTV evidence, and the resulting uproar had caused India Today to suspend him from his 9 pm slot and dock his salary.
But weeks after he’s returned, Sardesai is once again spreading fake news with aplomb. At this point, it’s obvious that Rajdeep Sardesai is either ideologically motivated to spread fake news that could harm the government and the BJP, or is woefully incompetent as a journalist. And in both these scenarios, India Today should ask itself if it should continue to have this man on its 9 PM prime-time slot.