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With no pressing national issue to outrage over, Arnab had to settle for a regional topic to vent his anger: Tamil Nadu’s chronic power shortage that’s leading to massive power cuts across the state. Here are the transcripts of Arnab grilling Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister, N R Viswanathan:
Arnab: Good evening. I am here with the man in charge of putting most of Tamil Nadu into darkness, the electricity minister Natham R. Viswanathan. Welcome to the show,Mr Viswanathan!
Viswanathan (smiling): Thank…
Arnab (agitated): What do you mean by thank you? Do you know how the people of Tamil Nadu are suffering from extended duration of power cuts? Why do you think such a situation has arisen? What answer do you have for the thousands of people in your state who go without their mid-day TV serials? Do you have an answer?!
Viswanathan (flustered): See Mr Arnab…
Arnab (getting worked up): That’s right Mr Viswanathan. It is 9 o’ clock at night in the well-lit studios and I can see. You can see me. But what about the people of Tamil Nadu who cannot see what is in front of them after 6 o’ clock in the evening?! What do you have to say to them? Do you think the power situation could have been better managed by the Tamil Nadu Government?
Viswanathan (thoughtfully): I think…
Arnab (screaming): Think? Did you say “think”? I cannot believe this! This is too late. When you say “I think”, it means you are thinking about the power crisis only now when the problem should have been resolved a long time ago. How can you face the people of Tamil Nadu when you accept on national primetime news television that only now you have begun to think about the power crisis that has crippled Tamil Nadu for almost a year now. How can you sleep at night peacefully? Please answer my question NOW!
Viswanathan (trying to make sense of all the drama): Well…
Arnab (jumping on the desk): Mr Viswanathan! You are lying on national television. How can you say ‘well’ when everything is obviously not well in your state? Please answer my question first
Viswanathan (throwing his hands up): I cannot answer if you keep interrup…
Arnab (banging his hands on the desk): Thank you for joining us Mr Viswanathan. For viewers who have just joined us, we had an engaging conversation with the Minister of Darkness, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Natham R. Viswanathan, who has stoutly refused to answer any of my questions regarding the power crisis in Tamil Nadu. Stay tuned for more Trading Barbs with Arnab.
Viswanathan (resignedly): Thank you Mr Arnab. I hope I never see you again.