Lata denies blackmailing Govt, slams journalism ethics
Lata Mangeshkar on Wednesday strongly denied a report in the tabloid Mumbai Mirror that quoted her as saying she would leave the city if the Peddar Road flyover was built. She described the story as “baseless and fictitious”, and went on to attack the “ethics” of “today’s journalism”.
In a signed statement faxed to newspaper offices, Lata said, “I have not spoken to any journalist… and have not given any opinion on the matter. I do not know who is behind generating such quotes and reactions in my name. But I am deeply pained by the entire episode and deny all statements issued in my name so far on the Peddar Road issue.”
The tabloid had, in its March 26 issue, quoted Lata as saying, “I won’t stay in Mumbai (if the flyover is built). I’ll go anywhere… I won’t stay in Mumbai.”
Asked for his reaction, the journalist in question, Subhash K. Jha, came across as cagey. He began by saying, “I stand by my report,” but steadfastly refused to charge Lata with making a false claim. “I have too much love and respect for Lataji to contradict what she says,” Jha told HT.
Prominent Peddar Road residents are upset the issue has taken a frivolous turn and become personality-centric — as it had in 2002 when the flyover was first proposed. “This is not about what X or Y wants,” Congress MP Milind Deora told HT. “We should discuss if the flyover will solve the traffic congestion problem. And whether the flyover will be integrated with the sealink or remain a stopgap measure before the sealink comes up.”