AAP leader Shazia Ilmi on Saturday sought to clarify party leader Arvind Kejriwal’s controversial comments on media, saying he was merely referring to three news channels and not the entire fraternity. “There is a definite bias and prejudice by these channels with how AAP is being treated. Some media has been very responsible. I dont think Arvind was talking about all the channels,” Ilmi told reporters on Saturday.
“What Arvind had in mind was those particular channels. It might have come across that all media channels are like that but it cannot be. Media cannot be clubbed,” she said. In Nagpur, Kejriwal had said that the whole media was “sold” and heavy payments have been made to project Modi for Prime Ministership. He had also threatened to put media people in jail after an enquiry if AAP came to power.
The party had on Friday come out in defence of Kejriwal and had named four channels who were airing anti-AAP news. Speaking about the sting operation against her aired by channels just before the Delhi assembly elections, Ilmi said, “No body supports the idea of media persons being sent to jail, but strict action needs to be taken against irresponsible media such as those channels which showed the sting operation.”
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“When my footage was discussed it was like an intellectual rape. I felt violated. My body was not hurt, but my spirit was. This impacts your chances in elections and costs you a lot.”
She said that neither she nor any of the AAP leaders had any kind of equity in media houses. “Arvind has no equity. None of us have any equity in any media house. How can we manipulate the media? If you see opinion polls there is something called paid news. There is a bias. There is a nexus between corporate interest and news channels and political class,” she said.
Clearing the air about her contesting elections, Ilmi said that she wanted to enter the electoral fray from Delhi because she has worked here. “I have made it amply clear whether Rae Bareli or any other seat is concerned…I think if you have worked somewhere, it is fighting from there,” she said.
At a CII event here, she also said that her party’s stand on many aspects like FDI in retail and dam were based on evidence. “We have to look for evidence. Wherever there is evidence is working in a certain country we should take it. Dams for instance. There are some people who are anti-dams, but some are pro-dams. So it is case to case basis. On Bhagirati river (dam) may not be a right idea, but many places dams are needed.
FDI in some states is probably not needed whereas FDI in infrastructure I think is needed in some states. So let’s make a case based on evidence,” she said.