Mumbai: Concluding its highly acclaimed flagship summit, News18 India, the nation's premier news channel, on Monday (February, 2024) hosted a gathering of India's foremost voices. This illustrious event provided a platform for intense discussion, debate, and deliberation on the pressing matter of India's journey towards becoming a developed nation by 2047. With the Lok Sabha Elections looming on the horizon, the summit set the stage and established the tone for the forthcoming political discourse. Viewers were afforded a unique opportunity to engage with a diverse range of luminaries, including political stalwarts, thought leaders, policymakers, as well as eminent figures from the world of cinema and sports.
The event commenced with thought-provoking discussions and concluded on a high note with closing remarks delivered by BJP president JP Nadda. It featured an impressive lineup of distinguished participants, including Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, and several Union Ministers such as Kiren Rijiju, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Ashwini Vaishnav, Dharmendra Pradhan, Anurag Thakur, and Piyush Goyal. Additionally, the event saw the presence of prominent regional leaders, including Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann, Madhya Pradesh CM Dr Mohan Yadav, and Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu. Noteworthy political figures such as BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Congress leader Digvijay Singh, and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi also contributed to the discussions.
In addition, the event witnessed representation from the Delhi government, with Minister Atishi Marlena making valuable contributions to the discussions. Notable luminaries from the film and cricket industry, including Aamir Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Ashutosh Rana, Kiran Rao, Shikhar Dhawan, and Mohammed Shami, also actively participated, enriching the discourse with diverse perspectives. The esteemed speakers commended News18 India and its organizing team for orchestrating the successful News18 India Chaupal, which featured thought-provoking sessions and brought together a multitude of voices and viewpoints under one roof.
Railway and Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnav, delivered a full-fledged report through graphic illustration on the advancements within the Railway Ministry. From 2004 to 2014, he highlighted the significant increase in the railway budget from Rs 15 thousand crores to Rs 2.52 lakh crores. The audience regaled the session. On the other hand, Nadda addressed various aspects concerning the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024. He posed a question to Rahul Gandhi regarding his temple visits, questioning the timing of such visits coinciding with election periods. Additionally, Nadda discussed the inclusion of Nitish Kumar and PM Modi's vision for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in his discourse.
The panel discussions, anchored by veteran journalists of News18 India, featuring Digvijay Singh and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, along with the fiery exchange between the Delhi Education Minister from AAP and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sudhansu Trivedi, captivated the audience, vividly illustrating the essence of democracy. In this vibrant display of diverse perspectives, individuals from both the ruling establishment and the Opposition exercised their fundamental right to freedom of expression.
The News18 India Chaupal emerged as a catalyst, igniting discussions on strategic initiatives for impactful change that can significantly contribute to the nation's progress. Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Nitin Gadkari, and the Information and Broadcasting Minister showcased the developmental efforts of the Modi-led BJP government, expressing confidence in Prime Minister Modi's potential for a third consecutive victory in the Lok Sabha elections. Conversely, Congress president Kharge criticized the BJP-led ruling dispensation and emphasised the party's endeavour to unite all individuals under a common umbrella.
Respecting the constitutional framework that binds the Centre and states, the News18 India Chaupal summit provided a platform for chief ministers to share their perspectives on their respective states' developmental endeavours and political landscape. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Dr. Mohan Yadav, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann passionately articulated their states' developmental initiatives. These interactive sessions, skilfully anchored by veteran journalists, empowered viewers with insightful discussions and a deeper understanding of the regional dynamics shaping India's political discourse.
Cricketers Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammed Shami addressed their respective plans and experiences in the cricketing world, with Dhawan expressing his determination to return to the Indian team through the IPL. Shami also shared the moments of Team India's defeat in the World Cup in Chaupal. He also shared the moments of meeting PM Modi in the dressing room after the defeat in the World Cup, along with social media trolling.
Actors such as Ashutosh Rana, Ayushmann Khurrana, Aamir Khan, along with his former spouse Kiran Rao, actively participated in the conclave, lending their voices to the discourse. Each brought forth their unique perspectives and insights, enriching the discussions with their diverse experiences and viewpoints. Their presence added a dynamic dimension to the event, engaging the audience and contributing to the holistic exploration of pertinent issues.