Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has said his party, if it comes to power, would put behind bars those journalists it suspects have taken money to promote BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Speaking at a fundraiser dinner, where about 130 businessmen, AAP sympathisers and other participants had paid Rs. 10,000 each, Kejriwal said, "Modi has bought the country's media and his some supporters have taken the control of a few media houses."
Kejriwal said if AAP is voted to power, an investigation into these dealings would result in "media-wallahs being sent to jail".
Aam Aadmi Party logo, AAP
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"Some TV channels have been saying that corruption has ended and have been publicising only Modi, Modi and Modi. It is because money played a role. TV channels have been paid a huge amount to promote Modi," he said.
He said the entire media have conspired to promote Modi and have been willfully ignoring suicides by farmers in Gujarat, who were forced to sell farmland at throwaway prices to Adani industrial group.
He said Gujarat development as projected by Modi was being given undue publicity, while agrarian crisis in the state and problems faced by small and medium enterprises got no space in media coverage.
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He justified his criticism of Reliance gas pricing, which he said would lead to price rise and make Mukesh Ambani richer by Rs. 54,000-crore.
"We are not afraid of speaking against anybody and this conspiracy of silence needs to be shattered," said Kejriwal.
However, Kejriwal on Friday denied that he had made such remarks against the media.
"I have not said anything against media," he said. But a few participants said they have recorded his remarks on their smartphones.
When Kejriwal was dining with the donors at the hotel, a group of former AAP workers put a food stall outside the hotel, where they were selling meals at the rate of Rs. 10 in protest against the party's fundraiser dinner at a posh hotel.
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Meanwhile, Kejriwal announced at the dinner that his party would support a separate Vidarbha state and promised to extend support on the floor of Parliament as well.
"We are in favour of small states, so we will support separate Vidarbha state," he added.
On Friday, he also organised road shows, which received good public response, for the AAP candidate from Nagpur, Anjali Damania, in all the assembly segments of the seat.