Mischief, says Varun after he questions turnout at Modi’s Kolkata rally

BJP general secretary Varun Gandhi has said that the size of the crowd at Modi’s election rally in Kolkata was perhaps a fourth of what the BJP claimed.

Kolkata | Published:February 8, 2014 1:08 am
Varun Gandhi, 33, is in charge of West Bengal for the BJP. (Reuters) Varun Gandhi, 33, is in charge of West Bengal for the BJP. (Reuters)

Responding to a report in The Indian Express Friday (Crowd only 50,000, Modi’s Kolkata rally ‘okay’: Varun), BJP leader Varun Gandhi tweeted: “Mischievous article in The Indian Express implying that I was trying to denigrate Modi ji and the historic Kolkata rally. Why would I denigrate a function that I myself organised? When asked whether the rally was okay, I replied it was absolutely okay. When asked about the crowd size, and whether it was more than 50 thousand, I replied it was certainly more but it is difficult to decipher the exact crowd at these mammoth rallies, hence I chose not to hazard a guess.”

Reporter Subrata Nagchoudhury replies: When I called Varun Gandhi on February 6 and asked him for his comments on the previous day’s Narendra Modi rally, he replied: “It was okay.”

Why just okay, why not excellent, I asked, given how the state BJP had reacted to the rally. Gandhi said: “Subrata, I have read your article today and what you have written is not true.”

When I asked him to explain, he said: “The crowd was not 200,000 as you had written. It would not have been more than 45,000 to 50,000 at the most.”

I told him that the 200,000-turnout in the report was based on visual estimates cross-checked with police assessments. The fact that Gandhi, a general secretary of the BJP in charge of West Bengal, feels that a Modi rally’s turnout was greatly exaggerated in the press is, indeed, newsworthy. That he sees this as “mischief” is his opinion.

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  1. S
    Sri
    Feb 8, 2014 at 2:36 am
    Varun hi's version of events is believable. The reporter is out to make a head line grabbing impact by twisting what Mr hi has said. Surely these mischief monger reporters must have better jobs to do...
    Reply
    1. S
      Sri
      Feb 8, 2014 at 2:36 am
      Varun hi's version of events is believable. The reporter is out to make a head line grabbing impact by twisting what Mr hi has said. Surely these mischief monger reporters must have better jobs to do...
      Reply
      1. A
        Ansuman Prusty
        Feb 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm
        This is what is called a "Gol gol" article. I just couldn't understand what the writer is trying to say.
        Reply
        1. A
          Ansuman Prusty
          Feb 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm
          This is what is called a "Gol gol" article. I just couldn't understand what the writer is trying to say.
          Reply
          1. T
            TIHARwale
            Feb 8, 2014 at 9:47 am
            in 180 SFT not more than 30 people can be comfortable , so it is not very difficult to estimate but then 50000 crowd in Kolkata is considered flop. Varun hi has a knack of correct guess just recall how exactly he forecast number of seat in 2012 U.P.embly polls
            Reply
            1. T
              TIHARwale
              Feb 8, 2014 at 9:47 am
              in 180 SFT not more than 30 people can be comfortable , so it is not very difficult to estimate but then 50000 crowd in Kolkata is considered flop. Varun hi has a knack of correct guess just recall how exactly he forecast number of seat in 2012 U.P.embly polls
              Reply
              1. B
                Bakumbai
                Feb 8, 2014 at 1:42 am
                Varun hi shows his lack of experience due to age. He should be careful to talk to media most of which are anti-BJP. The people in the rally as per Business Standard was about 5 lakhs.
                Reply
                1. B
                  Bakumbai
                  Feb 8, 2014 at 1:42 am
                  Varun hi shows his lack of experience due to age. He should be careful to talk to media most of which are anti-BJP. The people in the rally as per Business Standard was about 5 lakhs.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Dutta
                    Feb 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm
                    Subrata Nagchoudhury, you need to do some sensible reporting. If the person, you are interviewing clearly says, you are misrepresenting his statements... you think, people will trust you?Gone are those days, Mr. Subrata! Welcome to Social Media. Your lies will get caught more often now!
                    Reply
                    1. D
                      Dutta
                      Feb 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm
                      Subrata Nagchoudhury, you need to do some sensible reporting. If the person, you are interviewing clearly says, you are misrepresenting his statements... you think, people will trust you?Gone are those days, Mr. Subrata! Welcome to Social Media. Your lies will get caught more often now!
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        K H
                        Feb 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm
                        I thought IE is not in the business of mischief mongering - playing one leader of the party against another - but its business for a kill time. So no wonder - every one is in the game.
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          K H
                          Feb 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm
                          I thought IE is not in the business of mischief mongering - playing one leader of the party against another - but its business for a kill time. So no wonder - every one is in the game.
                          Reply
                          1. J
                            jayvijaynarayan
                            Feb 8, 2014 at 2:45 am
                            varun and his mother are frustrated that they could not get recognition in their own party like congress. That is the reason varun is speaking against modi. May be heis dreaming to become PM like Rahul. This will affect BJP prospects in lok sabha elections. He should refrain from commenting people in his own party
                            Reply
                            1. J
                              jayvijaynarayan
                              Feb 8, 2014 at 2:45 am
                              varun and his mother are frustrated that they could not get recognition in their own party like congress. That is the reason varun is speaking against modi. May be heis dreaming to become PM like Rahul. This will affect BJP prospects in lok sabha elections. He should refrain from commenting people in his own party
                              Reply
                              1. K
                                KRA
                                Feb 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm
                                Non Story!
                                Reply
                                1. K
                                  KRA
                                  Feb 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm
                                  Non Story!
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Subramanian Venkatraman
                                    Feb 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm
                                    Reporters trying to grab headlines writing lies.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Subramanian Venkatraman
                                      Feb 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm
                                      Reporters trying to grab headlines writing lies.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        ram niwas
                                        Feb 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm
                                        any small thing that media can clutch to against Modi!!so what if Varun said that..does that mean all the videos were wrong?. With all the media present at the rally still media doesnt know how many were there?.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          ram niwas
                                          Feb 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm
                                          any small thing that media can clutch to against Modi!!so what if Varun said that..does that mean all the videos were wrong?. With all the media present at the rally still media doesnt know how many were there?.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Sachin Shyam
                                            Feb 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm
                                            "I told him that the 200,000-turnout in the report was based on visual estimates cross-checked with police essments." So, according to the article, neither did the BJP claim that the turnout was 200,000, nor did Varun hi. So there's a clear mismatch between the article and its headline. uming the article is correct, this is not just mischievous journalism, it is clearly malicious trickery. I think Subrata Nagchoudhury and The Indian Express should stop such dirty tricks, and should stop trying to fool readers so openly.
                                            Reply
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