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Republic TV’s Facebook Poll Backfires; Majority Say They Will Not Stand With Varnika Kundu


Republic TV’s Facebook Poll Backfires; Majority Say They Will Not Stand With Varnika Kundu

1583 people said NO – which means they will not stand with Varnika Kundu as compared to 1442 comments saying YES. But what was this poll hoping to achieve?

Screenshot of Republic’s Facebook post


The rush to seek public opinion by news channels on a developing news story can often throw up unexpected results. Republic TV owned by Arnab Goswami today faced one such embarrassing  moment when they ran a poll on Facebook asking their viewers to express if they stand with Varnika Kundu, who has accused Vikas Barala, son of Haryana state BJP President Subhash Barala of stalking and attempting to kidnap her. Barala was arrested today after being charged with trying to kidnap Kundu after relevant sections were added following public outrage over bail granted to him earlier this week.


Strangely, Republic TV who have covered the story non-stop over the last two days gave the options ‘YES’ or ‘NO’. For a channel that was running a hashtag #IStandWithVarnika, Do You?,  the results turned out to be rather shocking.


1583 people said NO – which means they will not stand with Varnika as compared to 1442 YES comments.


It was unclear why Republic decided to do such a poll. Did they find it difficult to believe the account of the victim and wanted to know if their viewers think the same? Or was it an effort to provoke its viewers and drive the debate as they move towards their prime time show in the evening in support of Varnika?


In the event that there were any doubts over her account, it was the job of Republic to investigate and find out the truth rather than leave it to the court of public opinion. If the poll was in Varnika’s favour, Barala’s legal team could have also make a contrary argument. Should news channels be allowed to run polls that call a person guilty  when the case is subjudice?


Sensing the backlash that the post was generating on Facebook, the poll was deleted but not before we took a screenshot of the post. Look at the comments with the post and one can understand why there was such a backlash. Knowingly or unknowingly, Republic gave a platform to vile comments from those who wanted to normalise and generate a narrative that Varnika lied about the incident.


It is understandable that social media engagement is a valid form of promotion of the day’s stories for any news channel. But by posting a poll in a case where allegations are being made about VVIP treatment being given to the son of a powerful poltician according to Republic’s own stories, the channel also helped in the process of shaming the victim that is clearly evident from the comments posted on the poll.


Interestingly, at the time this poll was running on Facebook, the channel’s editor Arnab Goswami was also interviewing Varnika Kundu and her father, praising them for the bold steps taken by them without fearing the high and the mighty.


Apart from the channel’s irresponsible post on Facebook before it was deleted, the fact that more people chose the option ‘NO’  also came as a shock to many on the social media platform.



BOOM reached out to Republic TV on Twitter. We are still waiting for their response. We will update when we hear from Republic.



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  • Raman

    The reason is obvious. Republic is a BJP supporter channel. It’s Facebook page will be visited largely by people who watch this channel regularly. Why will they vote in favour of Kundu?

    • Deepika Jamwal

      Anyone dissenting need not be pro bjp. Many in bjp are demanding the father’s resignation so I don’t understand your logic.
      I am with varnika but I need not call everyone with separate opinion as a bhakt or pro bjp. Seems that we aren ready to tolerate any opinion other than our own.

    • Indian

      Republic is a bjp page ? Then im your father .. lol

      • Murali

        Do you know who owns the stake? Do you know Who is Rajeev Chandrashekar?

  • ramjiyahoo

    if one conducts poll about British Rule in India in Telegraph, conduct poll about Bofors in National Herald, if one conducts poll about Lalith Modi in Swarajya Marg, naturally results will be shocking

  • amit sinha

    This result is very much expected as this gives an indication that what kind of viewership the republic has, their proBJP stand left them with high viewership of bhakts ,& they obviously going to stand wd BJP and will oppose any opinion of arresting a BJP leader. I will not be surprised if after sometime the republic themselves start opposing d arrest of Barala’s

    • Deepika Jamwal

      Reply copied.

      Anyone dissenting need not be pro bjp. Many in bjp are demanding the father’s resignation so I don’t understand your logic.
      I am with varnika but I need not call everyone with separate opinion as a bhakt or pro bjp. Seems that we aren ready to tolerate any opinion other than our own.

      • Anurag Basu

        Really appreeciate your thinking. We should respect the other point of view even if it is pro bjp

  • Deepika Jamwal

    My opinion. If people have different perception why can’t we accept it. I am with varnika but if some other individual thinks otherwise he would write a no on all polls whether Ndtv or zee or CNN. It’s certainly not republic’s fault. I think people have to be tolerant enough to accept other people’s views. We don’t know reasons but now when I think, it may be that many consider now the issue is blown out of proportion because of bjp angle.
    If others think so they have a right to opinion just like I do and I will accept it.

    • md dilshad alam

      Blown out of proportion ??? Wasn’t he given bail earlier the other day itself under bailable sections charged against him for such a serious crime ? Wasn’t the police said earlier that all the cctv’s were faulty? What does these proceedings suggests dear? Don’t you think dear that it was the dirty game of power politics to cover up the crime ??

    • Raman

      Yes, agree with you that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We need to have healthy debates. However, does this match with Republic’s philosophy? They reap what they sow

  • Paid trolls are distorting now the social media too.
    No space left for true democracy and honesty.

    • Murali

      Not now since 2013..

  • Stupid bhakts everywhere. Bit themselves on the ass with this one.

  • Parsuram Panigrahi

    . We have heard the story from the girl and haven’t heard that from boys. When Kasab gets a chance to present his side of the story, the boys needs chance to present their and court decide what punishment to be given. Punishment should neither be instantaneous nor without listening both parties. Republic is doing both.

    • Rafat Raza

      Who stopped Vikas Barala from interacting wd d media? He shud hv come out n given his version too.

  • Bhang Sung Li

    What Republic Tv can do on this? It’s our citizens mentality towards these kinds of harassment and stalking incidents. It’s shameful that we don’t believe the victim’s statement but support criminals 😢

  • ashokk

    Dont show nonsense. Today ,everything BJP does seem to be right. If BJP MP or MLA does something wrong it is politically motivated and others parties are just guilty or youth become anti national.Throughout India’s freedom struggle, the RSS was subservient to the British, with its leadership prohibiting participation in mass movements.

  • Shriram Bapat

    If it is an opinion expressed in favour or against someone it is Varnika who has less people supporting her. Republic is just a mirror in which you see the reflection and condemning Republc is shooting the messenger. Among the people who condemn the stalker more than half donot approve girls roaming at midnight.But if they say so they are thrashed by all. Mind well these are not bad people.

  • Abhiram

    Surprised, some people still watch Arnab the joker?

  • Mohan sankar PV

    The most useless debate on Prime time channels regarding Varnika Kundu who is anunknown night bird. I stopped watching TV for the last one week due to this debate as if no other important issues are there in the country.

  • Nurul Hoque

    First check how many responses are from robot and paid workers…and tgen come to a conclusion..

  • Karmakar

    Isn’t it clear. The Republic and Arnab are basically BJP trolls and RSS hacks. That is the crowd that watches the useless channel. which is running into an existential crisis as everyone calls it BJP RSS Doordarshan . Arnab has no credibility and he should just wag his tail and let Modi give him and RS seat from Gujarat.

  • ik-5

    The question clearly is – should a media channel run a poll such as this when the case is subjudice? Irresponsible reportage for an illogical audience – perfect.

  • Asim Chakrabarti

    Must influential people command control on public opinion also ? Is it wrong to measure the public opinion on any issue ? Yes, we conclude that majority of our co-citizens are of opinion that in the dead of night highways must be the playground of the male children of the influential people who must rule there in inebriated condition and that the girls can have no business there. Arnab must disclose the regional division of the votes. Will he ?

  • Asim Chakrabarti

    There was no need to withdraw the opinion poll. Opinion on sensitive issues should be sought through the e-mails only.

  • Jayesh Desai

    Republic and it’s mentor TIMES NOW, are master of this game, they are always proestablishment but make a show of standing with victims. All the time undermining the case. Remember the ranting and raving of lunatic looking Arnab on times channel when coal scam 2g scam Nirbhaya incident! What happened in all this cases? Nothing.
    If possible i would block this two from my subscription.

  • Sharman, B.

    Blind is the one who can not read motives behind the smile of this Ms Varnika. She is a publicity monger for sure. Come what may basis. Can a girl with slightest self esteem declare on a public channel that “she could have been raped” under the glaring fact that all she said was merely her own perverted imagination. Had the boys intended anything like that they would not have scored 9 kms behind her to stop at a traffic light crossing where there is traffic and police presence 24 hrs. Entire stretch before the crossing is almost deserted. In all probabilities, the boys only wanted to take a decent call on her to say that “please leave your mobile and drive properly. There are others on the street too” !

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