Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde had allegedly threatened to “crush media indulging in anti-Congress propaganda,” in a youth Congress meeting on Monday.
The issue grew bigger after he tried to tone down the controversy on Tuesday by saying that he had referred to social media and not journalism in his comment.
"My comment was on the social media. It was with regards to the issue related to the northeast students who were being targeted in Hyderabad and Karnataka. It was not on journalists," he said.
HT had asked for readers' opinion on Shinde's remarks. In a poll put out on Tuesday, HT had queried "Do you believe in Sushilkumar Shinde's clarification on his 'crush media' remark?"
87% of the voters did not believe in Shinde's clarification and answered in the negative. While 11% answered "yes, I do", 1% didn't have an opinion on the issue.