Why are you so angry, Amit Malviya?

BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya lost his cool on live TV today when anchor Rajdeep Sardesai asked an inconvenient question. The anchor kept his cool in the face of personal jibes

Amit Malviya hurls personal abuses at senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on live TV during a discussion on Karnataka results, 13 May 2023 (screen grab from India Today TV)
Amit Malviya hurls personal abuses at senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on live TV during a discussion on Karnataka results, 13 May 2023 (screen grab from India Today TV)

NH Political Bureau

Asked why polarising issues like hijab and halal had not worked to secure a Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, the BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya lost his cool on live television on the India Today TV channel. Accusing presenter Rajdeep Sardesai, a senior journalist, of being a 'propagandist', Malviya ranted: "This is propaganda… You should go… You should retire… You are 58...!"

A nonplussed Sardesai, anchoring a panel discussion on the Karnataka election results, tried to pacify him, asking, "Why are you so angry, Mr. Malviya?" and suggested that the BJP spokesperson should not give Sardesai undue importance.

But Malviya was not to be stopped. "You should go and write your third book on how BJP wins the 2024 election… You go and prostrate yourself before Sonia Gandhi and ask for a Rajya Sabha seat," he continued.

Irked at Malviya appearing to threaten him on air—Malviya had just said, "You better be careful…,"—Sardesai tersely responded, "Please don't threaten me." Suggesting that Malviya should smile (more often) and offering to send him a box of Mysore pak sweets, Sardesai then turned to another panelist in the discussion.

Malviya was clearly finding it difficult to explain BJP's defeat in Karnataka. The result appeared to have come to him as a shock, as his tweets till this afternoon suggest that he expected a closer and tighter race.

On the polling day, May 10, when exit polls put the Indian National Congress ahead of the BJP, Malviya tweeted:

“It was amusing to see the reactions, to Exit Polls, of those who are desperately hoping for a Congress win. Out of job journalists abusing those who they think are in favour with the current regime, glee on faces of journalists who are apologists of the Congress and often do a better job than official spokespersons, Congress apparatchik rushing to credit Rahul Gandhi and assorted minions beating themselves blue in excitement…

Here is a caveat: these are just Exit Polls and not the actual result. Keep an ambulance handy in case the result flips, which is very likely. There is nothing to suggest, either in the voting percentage or on the ground, that Congress will have a run away win.

So, relax! Take a deep breath and wait for 13th.”

On Friday, May 12, Malviya’s tweet was marginally more sober, accused Congress supporters of whining about the EVM and read:

"All Exit Polls depend on vote percent. At 73.19 per cent, Karnataka has seen the highest voting percentage, ever.

Lets look at the vote share and seats won by BJP and INC, the two main parties in fray, in previous election.

In 2008, BJP won 110 seats with vote share of 33.86%, whereas Congress won 80 seats with 34.76%.

Exclude 2013, because it was an election, which saw saffron vote split between the BJP and KJP, giving Congress an advantage. Otherwise, Congress, irrespective of its vote share, has never gone beyond 80.

In 2018, BJP won 104 seats with vote share of 36.22%, whereas Congress won 80 seats with a vote share of 38.14%.

Now, in 2023, according to various Exit Polls, BJP is getting approx 37% vote share and Congress is at around 40%, roughly 3% gap.

So, what happens tomorrow, on 13th May, when actual result comes in is anyones guess. The Congress is already whining about the EVMs and their supporters, who were cocky on 10th evening, are revisiting their numbers."

By 2 pm on Saturday, May 13, he had recovered somewhat from his shock to tweet:

'The BJP may be down in Karnataka but not out.

A quick look at the comparative vote share of the BJP, Congress and JDS between 2018 and 2023.

BJP’s vote share has dropped to 35.8% from 36.2% in 2018, a drop of mere 0.4%.

Congress’s on the other hand has gone up by 4.8%, from 38.1% to 42.9%.

The JDS has lost a whopping 4.9%, down from 18.3% to 13.4%, which has almost entirely gone to the Congress.

The Congress’s biggest gain this election also comes from the Old Mysore Region.

The data could change marginally but this is the broad direction.'

And so it goes... from cocky to blustering.

Meanwhile, readers, viewers and social media followers are still left wondering: What's actually eating Amit Malviya? (He's clearly not eating any Mysore pak, that's for sure.)

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines