The journalist was trying to ask Gandhi a question regarding the recent scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian government. Gandhi was visiting Sonbhadra district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to meet the aggrieved families of ten tribals who were shot dead over a village land dispute last month when the incident occurred.
As she arrived in the village, Nitish Kumar Pandey, a reporter from a leading Indian news channel, tried to ask her what she thinks of India’s recent move to repeal the special privileges granted to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
She avoided speaking to the reporter on the issue. She was more interested in talking to the villagers whom she had come from New Delhi to meet. When the reporter continued to pester her, Priyanka’s aide Sandeep Singh allegedly admonished him and warned that he would thrash him if he didn’t back down.
The video clip soon went viral on Twitter, evoking sharp responses.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi's close aide Sandeep Singh who is former President of JNU Students Union threatens @ABPNews journalist with physical violence when he asks her question on Article 370. This is the tragedy of Congress party. Sick. https://t.co/SLXmwtkNNS— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) 13 August 2019
A reporter is intimidated and pushed, it’s been over 14 hours, has @INCIndia sacked Sandeep Singh? Why has @priyankagandhi not tweeted anything so far? Have we heard from the media department of the Cong? https://t.co/lEm3p2K3Rs— Marya Shakil (@maryashakil) 14 August 2019
@priyankagandhi See, this is what happens when you keep self-obsessed mentally bankrupt advisors near you. You went for such a fantastic task and this Sandeep Singh fellow destroyed everything by his stupidity. You better get rid of him.— Piyush K Srivastava (@stvpiyush) 13 August 2019
After seeing Sandeep Singh today I thanked God that Congress lost its power before this woman came to politics otherwise our nation could be under 2nd emergency for saving her family and husband from corruption charges.. they accuse others as fascists 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣 #PriyankaGandhi— rs s lahore (@MowLung) 13 August 2019
However, a section of netizens felt that the journalist should not have continued to pester the Congress leader when she clearly did not wish to answer his questions.
we should also introspect .. why we keep begging for attention once denied in no uncertain terms..— Alok Kumar (@dmalok) 13 August 2019
Sorry Sanjukta, you cant look at every reporter from the same prism. A reporter, whether from a hyperlocal channel or a national channel, has the right to ask Qs. I would also say that He could have easily said that Priyanka refused to speak on article 370 and left her alone.— Milan Sharma (@Milan_reports) 13 August 2019
Meanwhile, Pandey later filed a police complaint against Gandhi’s aide Singh. The journalist in his report said that he was manhandled and threatened with bodily harm.