Broadcast vans jam traffic outside Congress office


New Delhi : As MPs from the ruling Congress queued up outside party president Sonia Gandhi’s residence here Saturday, there was a huge traffic jam on the road outside – caused by a dozen outdoor broadcasting (OB) vans of TV news channels relaying the quotes their reporters managed to obtain from the MPs streaming in and out of the house.

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Gandhi’s securitymen managed to get the OB vans moved from outside her gate but they only moved down the road to the entrance of the Congress office. There, a small group of traffic policemen watched helplessly as the huge vans – all with dish antennas pointing up at the sky – took up well over half the road.

“Thank goodness it is a Saturday today,” said one of the constables at the spot. “It would have been a huge mess if it had been a working day. We can’t even tell these people to move. They just don’t listen to us.”

The reporters were oblivious to the hardship they were causing to other road users as they chased every car drawing up at the gate, microphone in hand, wires and cameramen trailing behind.

In contrast, there was relative calm outside the office of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. The parking lots outside were full, but were not overflowing. There were the usual jamun sellers on the opposite pavement.

“What difference does it make to us?” Om Prakash, a hawker asked when queried on who he thought would win the trust vote in Parliament Tuesday.