Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s comments that the media was being paid by the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi to defame AAP came in for strong criticism from both the Congress and the BJP. They said such statements smacked of immaturity and disrespect for democratic institutions.
On Saturday, on being asked whether he would resign on moral grounds over the midnight raid he had orchestrated, Bharti retorted to mediapersons, “How much has Modiji paid you?”.
Though Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal later said Bharti should not have made such a comment, the BJP was in no mood to let the issue go.
Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Harsh Vardhan said, “These people are insulting every pillar of democracy. They have attacked the legislature, the judiciary, the executive and the media. They have no respect for democratic institutions,” he said.
Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel too did not mince words. “The promises that the AAP made, which had helped it win 28 seats, have not been fulfilled. The AAP leaders are frustrated. They have started insulting the media — the same people who made them what they are today. Today, when it is surrounded by controversies, the AAP is blaming everyone but itself. Only Kejriwal is right, everyone else is wrong,” he said.
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AICC general secretary in-charge for Delhi Shakeel Ahmed said, “The media has different takes on issues. Kejriwal and the AAP is a media creation. Considering that, I am really surprised at this change and at this observation from the AAP.”
Senior Congress leader Mateen Ahmed accused the AAP of being unfair to the media. “When the media was talking in its favour, then the media was also fair. But when media criticises them, the AAP is claiming that the media has sold out,” he said.