Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday alleged that there was a “pervasive, systematic and infringed control” over the owners of media by the Narendra Modi government.
“Today, believe me, there is all pervasive, systematic infringed control over the owners of the media. You talk to any journalist in Delhi, they will tell you that. Stories are simply killed. This is a serious problem,” he said in an interaction after the launch of his book ‘Fearless in opposition - Power and Accountability’ in Bengaluru.
The former Union minister said there may have been control over media during Emergency, but that was an “aberration”.
“The control over media today is unparalleled. Maybe the control was there during Emergency, but that was an aberration. We have admitted that aberration and also apologised,” he said.
He claimed that it would be a straight fight between Congress and BJP in the next round of elections as there were no major regional parties in some states including Gujarat and Rajasthan.
“In the next round of elections, there will be a straight fight between BJP and Congress in at least seven or eight states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh among others, as there are no major regional parties in these states.
“All regional parties were defeated in the last state elections including Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
Chidambaram, however, said he did not mean it was the end of regional parties.
The Congress leader said the next round of elections would be very crucial for both Congress and BJP and would decide the strength of these two parties.
“The next round of elections is very crucial. This will decide whether the Congress party has increased its strength. It may not be number one, but a number two certainly becomes a strong number two. Whether BJP is going to run over the Congress, I won’t know,” he said.