iTV Network organised the ‘India News Manch’ conclave recently.
The conclave witnessed the presence of some of India’s biggest political leaders and voices.
From Union Cabinet ministers, to state cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, Chief Ministers, party presidents, general secretaries and more, the political personalities of the country congregated on one stage for the conclave which was held for two consecutive days (Thursday, December 22, and Friday, December 23, 2022) at Hotel Taj Palace in Delhi.
As per the network, the event was a massive success on all social media platforms. Within two days, video clips from the event garnered 150 million views online. Not just that, the event was trending on top on Twitter for 6 hours with almost 50k plus tweets, as per its claims.
The event was attended by Tamilisai Soundararajan (Governor of Telangana); Kiren Rijiju (Union Minister of Law and Justice); Piyush Goyal (Union Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution); Anurag Thakur (Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports); Parshottam Rupala (Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying); Jyotiraditya Scindia (Union Minister Of Civil Aviation); Narendra Singh Tomar (Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare); Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Union Minister of Jal Shakti); Hardeep Puri (Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Affairs); Pralhad Joshi (Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines); Bhupender Yadav (Union Minister of Labour and Employment, Forest and Climate Change); Meenakshi Lekhi (Union MoS for External Affairs and Culture); SP Singh Baghel (Union Minister of State For Law and Justice); Mansukh Mandaviya (Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Chemicals and Fertilisers).
Bhagwant Mann (Chief Minister of Punjab); Pushkar Dhami (Chief Minister of Uttarakhand), Manish Sisodia (Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi); Sanjeev Sanyal (Member, PM's Economic Advisory Council); Amitabh Kant (G20 Sherpa), Ram Madhav (Board Of Governors, India Foundation); Manish Tewari (Lok Sabha MP, Congress); Raghav Chadha (Member Of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Aam Aadmi Party); Manoj Tiwari (Lok Sabha MP, BJP); Sanjay Singh (Rajya Sabha MP, AAP); Priyanka Chaturvedi (Rajya Sabha MP, Sena-Uddhav), Syed Naseer Hussain (Rajya Sabha MP, Congress); Malook Nagar (Lok Sabha MP, BJP), Gaurav Bhatia (National Spokesperson, BJP); HD Deve Gowda (former Prime Minister); Vivek Tankha (Rajya Sabha MP), Mahesh Jethmalani (Rajya Sabha MP); Rakesh Sinha (Rajya Sabha, MP); Acharya Pramod Krishnam (Congress leader) and Rakul Preet (actor).
Speaking about the event, Kartikeya Sharma, Founder, of iTV Network, said, “'It was a great pleasure today to host Union Ministers, members of parliament, chief ministers, and political leaders in the biggest political conclave. We hope our viewers had the opportunity to hear a vibrant and pointed discourse on some of the most burning issues and engage with us on social media and OTTs. The conclave showcases the creditable role our network is playing from politics to reform and progress. We look forward to hosting equally impactful such events in the new year.”
Day 1 of the ‘India News Manch’ kicked off with Union Minister Anurag Thakur who, while answering a question on combating terror, said, “The government is strengthening the UAPA law so that the perpetrators of terrorism can be brought to justice. With the change in legislation, now the anti-terrorism agency, the NIA, can even carry out the investigations abroad." In this context, the minister brought out Bilawal Bhutto’s statement and said India adopted track, trace, and target to combat terror, and this has rattled him.
Kiren Rijiju, Union Law Minister, joined later to speak on the independence of the judiciary in India. He said that the Narendra Modi government is committed to an independent judiciary. “Nobody wishes to undermine the judiciary and nobody wants to disrespect it. There is no question of hurting the independence of the judiciary by the government,” Rijiju said.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said, “We are running good governance. The case in point is that there were more than 1600 laws that had become either dormant or were unable to cater to the challenges of contemporary happenings, and now these laws have been rejuvenated so that they would be applicable and relevant to the current times.”
Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, talked about AAP’s liquor policy, MCD elections and LG conflict. He defended the AAP government's controversial liquor policy by saying that it was one of the best policy documents. He also said: "The Government agencies like ED and CBI failed to find anything against them.” However, he added that he is expecting more charge sheets against the AAP leaders.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chaddha was quite critical about the Central government, especially the Modi government's economic policies. He came down heavily on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, saying that we all can remember the FM’s infamous comments on onion. “While the onion price was skyrocketing, the FM commented that she does not eat onion.” Chadda said the economic situation is bad, and it is going nowhere. “The GDP rate is going down. The income of almost all has gone down. Where is the growth as it is being claimed?”
MoS external affairs and culture Meenakshi Lekhi in a feisty and candid interview hit out at the opposition including the AAP and the Cong. Accusing AAP of step-motherly treatment to the MCD when it was ruled by the BJP, Lekhi challenged the AAP to ‘try to run the corporation with the existing budget’. Lekhi also attacked Rahul Gandhi over his comments on the Tawang clash and warned the Congress against ‘politicising the clash with China’.
Governor of Telangana and lieutenant governor of Puducherry, Tamilisai Soundararajan came down heavily on K Chandrasekhar Rao-led government saying that the state government had shown enough contempt to the highest offices is worrisome. “The contempt shown to Telangana’s highest office worries me. When the PM visits the state, neither the CM nor any minister welcomes him. The CM is not adhering to any routine, and as I travel the state, I observe other collectors doing the same.”
Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann talked about terrorism, Akali Dal, and Sidhu Moosewala. He hit out at the opposition parties on terrorism and said that all the gangs in Punjab have been nurtured by Congress and Akali Dal. He further said that the people who themselves were actually responsible for the incidents of killings and sacrilege during their regime are now demanding peace and harmony. When asked about the killing of Sidhu Moosewala and gangster Goldy Brar, the Chief Minister said that the incidents were very unfortunate and shook the entire nation.
Talking about India’s G20 presidency, Amitabh Kant, the G20 Sherpa, said, “The presidency is a big initiative that India is taking.”. He also said that “India has decided to keep these 215 meetings of G20 in all its corners of the country.”
On day two, another set of top ministers and political leaders participated in the mega show of India News Manch.
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “Covid mutates continuously and we have seen a number of variants like Beta, Delta, Omicron, Omicron BA.1, BA.2, etc. My experience has been that the wave starts from China, and Japan and hits South Asia in 20-35 days. As the number of cases is increasing in those countries, it is crucial for us to be vigilant."
Regarding the issue of discarding trade with China, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said, "This is a gradual process. It cannot be done in a blink of an eye. This matter was also put forth in the parliament and in the past, the trades were not very strong with China. After 2004, the government opened the floodgate between India and China and the trade deficit between both countries kept increasing. Yet we tried to keep a balance and strictly supervised and we are constantly trying to reduce the dependence upon import.
While addressing the conclave, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar lauded the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, saying that it saved the lives of millions of people during the Covid pandemic. He also praised the initiative of opening bank accounts for people during the crisis and said that more than 20 lakh women benefitted as more than Rs 30 thousand crores were directly sent to their accounts. He termed PM Modi’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme a revolutionary step.
Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia graced the stage with the theme of 'India Rising--Future Leadership of a Superpower. “During Covid, because each country was concerned about their own safety, no one came together as a united world to combat the situation with medicines or other precautions. However, India was the only country that took the initiative to help the world while also caring for its own people. In a state where no vaccines were ever produced, we produced two vaccines and assisted 110 countries in a short period of time. PM Modi’s assistance, India is now recognised around the world."
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said the Modi government's initiative 'Har Ghar Jal' will be a reality soon. “It is an ambitious project, but we are on it vigorously,” he added. The minister also dealt elaborately with India's excellent management with Covid. "The world has praised India’s war on Covid," he added.
AAP RS MP Sanjay Singh spoke about his party's national push and growth over the years. "When we started out on our journey, nobody believed that the Aam Aadmi Party could win an election. But we have frustrated many," he said. Singh also dealt with the government's continuous cases and agency crackdown against AAP leaders. The MP said, "When they couldn't gather evidence, they tried to have the judge changed."
In a face-off, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi and Congress MP Pramod Tiwari debated on the India-China border dispute. Trivedi said, "The foreign minister and Indian soldiers have already given the reply. If you don’t trust these figures, then believe China’s comment that India is inside China’s border. What source will you trust if you don’t trust your government? These are the same people who asked for ‘surgical strike proof’."
Responding to Trivedi, Congress' Pramod Tiwari said, "We’re proud of Indian soldiers; they’re great. However, the Opposition will be concerned if Prime Minister says, ‘Na koi aaya tha, na koi gaya tha’ on issues related to PoK. The pictures we have from the satellite narrate a different story that we don’t want to reveal. All we ask is to listen and then put out your statement so that 135 crore citizens will be clarified."
In another panel discussion, Congress MP Manish Tiwari reacted to Bhagwant Mann’s allegation that the Congress Party, is like the exchange, wherein they have MPs, MLAs, and any party that bids for them is ready to exchange them.
On the other hand, RSS ideologue Ram Madhav was optimistic about India’s G20 presidency. Speaking on the rotation procedure for G20 members, should there be too much of credit given to PM Narendra Modi, he said, "The world was going through challenging times this year, especially the Russia-Ukraine crisis that led to oil crisis and high inflation. So, in this aspect, it’s a big achievement for the ruling party to thrust India’s ideas and take on global headwinds when the world will sit back and listen to India."