Media gag: Has CM Kejriwal govt scored a self goal?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 11:35 IST

The Delhi government’s latest circular on ‘defamatory’ media content has come under severe criticism from political opponents and former bureaucrats.

Senior BJP leader and Union minister of state for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the decision by the Arvind Kejriwal government is yet another example of their intolerant and undemocratic nature.

“We have been saying that the Aam Aadmi Party cannot tolerate criticism. They level baseless allegations against their political rivals but are now threatening to sue journalists for highlighting the failure of the state government. This is unfortunate,” Naqvi said.

Naqvi said it was the media that helped Kejriwal reach the top and “now when the same media was questioning him, he has turned intolerant” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken warned the Delhi government that the “gag order” against the media will not be tolerated.

“The government in the Capital is drunk on power and, therefore, it is resorting to anti-people and highly condemnable moves. But the AAP leaders should understand that their arrogant behaviour will bring their downfall,” Maken said.

Former bureaucrats also said that the circular was uncalled for and should be withdrawn.

"Kejriwal has himself challenged the constitutional validity of the defamation in the Supreme Court. Then how can he justify asking his officials to file suits against the media? Fair criticism is justified. Personally I feel that these are underhanded methods to browbeat people into not writing anything against you. Also, when he says the government will help people who want to set up honest media houses, what does he mean? What support is he offering?" asked former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal.

Read | AAP govt's diktat: 'Media to be sued over defamatory news reports'

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