MUMBAI: With the Gujarat elections on the horizon, the central government has made several populist moves including the cut in GST on many products and services. Hindi news channels have rearranged their programming line-up for the upcoming assembly elections, which will be held in two phases—9 December and 14 December 2017.
The results will be announced on 18 December 2017. In the frenzy to cover this event, news channels are leaving no stone unturned to grab eyeballs.
iTV Network, one of India’s media houses, has expanded further into the regional news space with the launch of a dedicated channel for Gujarat called India News Gujarat on 4 December 2017 with six regional channels in its bouquet. Being launched ahead of the highly-anticipated Gujarat Elections, 2017, the Gujarat Debate will be a programme to watch out for.
iTV editor-in-chief Deepak Chaurasia told Indiantelevision.com, “We are covering the elections from different aspects of it like debate, day-to-day updates, rallies, special interviews with around 40 senior correspondents. The new shows are Kissa Kursi Ka, a live debate show and at 8 and 10 pm everyday we have a special bulletin on elections.”
ABP News has started Kaun Banega Mukhyamantri which will focus on the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections from the audience's perspective and a review of the political parties' agenda. The show will be telecast twice a day at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm. On 9 December 2017 the show will start from 6am and will go on till 2pm. In another show Poll Khol, the anchor will present the latest updates surrounding the upcoming elections in various regions of India. The show will run for 30 minutes from 7:30pm.
India TV’s flagship election mega conclave Chunav Manch in its second edition at Ahmedabad saw an enviable line-up of participants both from the ruling as well as the opposition benches.
In his welcome address, Rajat Sharma outlined the performance of the ruling regime, their pre-poll promises, people’s expectations, Prime Minister’s Modi’s undaunting image etc. He also highlighted the opposition’s charges ranging from rising unrest among the business class to unemployment issues to questioning the Gujarat model of development.
India TV Managing Director Ritu Dhawan said, “We are happy because of the huge success of the initiative. But what makes us happier is that we were able to generate top-notch participation and we had a full-house throughout the day. This is especially when we were aware that our competition has been struggling to get in and keeping the audiences at their respective venues.”
A few amongst those who participated in different sessions were, BJP President Amit Shah, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel, BJP National Spokesman Sambit Patra, BJP MP Kirit Solanki, BJP Leader Jitu Vaghani, Ex Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela, PAAS Leader Hardik Patel, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Arjun Modhwadia, Congress Leaders Sanjay Nirupam and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Aaj Tak managing editor Supriya Prasad said, “For the elections, we are doing a debate show called Raj Tilak at 15 places. We have deputed around 24 reporters for the coverage of this elections.Gujarat ka Sardar Kaun is the show in which political experts discuss the Gujarat legislative assembly elections, and is aired everyday at4:30 pm.”
NDTV India is very innovatively used the show's tagline as ‘Abki Baar Kiski Sarkar’ which sheds light on political parties and the candidates vying for the top posts in the current election.