M A I N   N E W S

Role Reversal
Now, MPs to shoot all the questions
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
Parliamentarians are normally chased by persistent television journalists for that one special soundbyte. They are also in hot demand for the numerous talk shows hosted by the growing number of news channels. But, two Lok Sabha members are set to play a new role as they take to anchoring television programmes in their spare time.

Instead of being spoken to, the two MPs - Shiv Sena’s Suresh Prabhu and Congress’s Tejaswani - will now do the speaking and instead of being questioned, they will do the asking in a role reversal which may well set a new trend among Parliamentarians. The two MPs will soon be seen hosting two new weekly programmes on the year-old Lok Sabha television channel.

Prabhu, who was power minister in the NDA dispensation and also headed the committee on interlinking of rivers, will anchor a programme titled “Top Shot” which will deal with development issues like infrastructure, water resources, global warming and energy. Since the Shiv Sena MP has always evinced interest in these issues, he was thought to be the right choice for such a show where he will engage experts in a discussion on such vital matters.

Tejaswani, on the other hand, will host a show called “Torchbearers” in which she will interview winners of the Best Parliamentarian award like former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee. After she runs through all winners, she will focus on other senior leaders.

While anchoring will be a new experience for Prabhu, for Tejaswani it will prove to be a second homecoming. The Karnataka MP, who shot to fame after she defeated former PM H.D.Deve Gowda, was a well-known television journalist before she entered politics. She hosted a popular interview-based show titled “Mukha Mukhi” (Face to Face) which catapulted her to fame and, as she says, “landed her in Parliament”.

The two MPs have yet to begin work on their programmes but are expecting the show to be on air during the upcoming monsoon session. Lauding this initiative, Prabhu said this programme will help engage people on serious issues.

Tejaswani is looking forward to her second stint on television. Visibly excited about the new programme, she says she is looking forward to facing the camera once again. “I will do the programme without any bias and with all sincerity” she gushes, adding that she has already begun her research. She is well aware that unlike her earlier television stint, she will have to more careful and less irreverant in her questioning. “I will address the senior leaders as statesmen,” she adds.



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