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Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Naveen Kumar Jindal: The Delhi BJP media head in the news for the wrong reasons

A journalist with a career spanning over two decades, across Zee News, Sahara and Punjab Kesari, among others, Kumar had gradually gravitated towards politics and the BJP. In 2003, he even fought elections unsuccessfully on a BJP ticket.

It is not the first time that Delhi BJP media head Naveen Kumar Jindal, who was expelled from the party Sunday over his remarks on Prophet Mohammad, has been accused of crossing the line with his social media posts.

As recently as April, the Punjab Police had registered an FIR against him for allegedly sharing on his Twitter handle a “doctored video clip” of Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Around the time, the Punjab Police first tried to pick up another BJP leader, Tejinder Singh Bagga, its personnel had also reached Kumar’s residence, but could not get him as he was not home at the time.

A journalist with a career spanning over two decades, across Zee News, Sahara and Punjab Kesari, among others, Kumar had gradually gravitated towards politics and the BJP. In 2003, he even fought elections unsuccessfully on a BJP ticket.

In 2008, Kumar authored a book called Islamic Madrase Benaqab (Islamic madrasas exposed), which was inaugurated by then RSS chief K S Sudarshan.

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However, his career has never really taken off in the state unit, with his statements on social media seen as one way for him to remain in the news. His relationship with senior leaders had taken a further hit in the past six months. “He had a scuffle with an office-bearer recently, after which his involvement in the state unit media activity had decreased,” a leader said.

On Twitter, he is followed by several BJP leaders, including Delhi chief Adesh Gupta, MPs Manoj Tiwari and Hans Raj Hans, the office of minister Piyush Goyal, national spokesperson R P Singh, and former mayor Jai Prakash.

The order by Adesh Gupta expelling him said the action was being taken for his statements that could vitiate communal harmony.

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As the news sunk in, Kumar claimed his words had been misinterpreted and that he was getting threats from different quarters. He also claimed that the security assigned to him “for threat to life due to work as a journalist against terrorists” had been removed six months before.

Speaking to The Indian Express, he said examples of this work included covering terrorism in Kashmir and the Parliament attack, and interviewing terror masterminds Ghazi Baba and Afzal Guru.

While the UPA government had withdrawn his security in 2008, it was restored in 2016, and again removed after assessment in October 2021.

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On the case against him by the Punjab Police, Kumar said it was political vendetta. “I am fighting the matter in court.”

First published on: 05-06-2022 at 10:14:55 pm
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