Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj’s name has cropped up in a big way in the defamation suit filed by BJP leader Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, against London-based NRI Anshuman Mishra. In his criminal defamation suit, Jaitley has said that he met Mishra at the Raj Bhawan in Bangalore in mid-2011 when Bhardwaj invited him over breakfast.
Jaitley said that he was surprised to see that Mishra was not only the governor’s guest but also present during the breakfast. The governor discussed the “matters of the state” in the presence of Anshuman Mishra, a rank outsider, Jaitley said in his suit. The BJP leader said he was surprised to find Mishra at the head of the breakfast table and Governor discussing all issues in Mishra’s presence. Though Jaitley did not specify the “matters of the state”, sources said he could be referring to the bitter battle that was going on between the then Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddurappa and the governor.
It is learnt that if the Mishra case goes to the court, though he has already tendered a public apology, there will be considerable embarrassment to the Governor. Mishra and some of his emissaries are pleading with Jaitley not to drag the Governor’s name in the case, but Jaitley has declined the suggestion.
Interestingly, media-savvy Jaitley has found a way to spare the TV channels, newspapers and websites which telecast or published Anshuman Mishra’s interview wherein he leveled serious charges against Jaitley and other party leaders. Since Mishra has tendered an unqualified apology, the TV channels and publications are also in the queue.
Jaitley has made an interesting demand in his legal notice: He has asked the TV channels to show continuous apology for the same duration and time consumed by Anshuman Mishra in his interview. For example, Star News showed Anshuman Mishra’s interview for 38 minutes during prime time. Jaitley wants Star News to apologise continuously for 38 minutes during prime time without interruption. The new “apology formula” has made TV channels scary as they do not know what to do since Mishra has already left for London after apologizing to Jaitley. The New-X showed Mishra interview for more than one hour during prime time.