The often turbulent relationship between the Aam Aadmi Party and the media hit a new low after party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday alleged that a big section of it was out to destroy his party and that the media should be put on a public trial.
“A very large section of the media has accepted ‘supari’ for finishing off AAP. There can be a public trial. There can be 8-10 spots in Delhi where we can collect a group of people and show the erroneous clip. That way we can start a ‘janta ka trial’. If you see a channel shows a factually wrong report, take the channel’s name and bring it forward,” the chief minister said.
While Kejriwal’s remarks riled the media, senior AAP leaders continued their attack as well. Speaking to reporters on Monday, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that media reports on Kumar Vishwas’s alleged relationship with an AAP volunteer were baseless.
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“I request you with folded hands, please leave our families alone. Because of these baseless reports which do not have any facts or evidence, our wives, our children, those who love us are unhappy. If you get any evidence, then run a story.”
This is not the first time that AAP leaders have lashed out at the media or a section of it. As the party launched its Lok Sabha election campaign in Rohtak last year, Kejriwal alleged a nexus among big businesses, media houses and political parties.
Matters had come to a head last year when the Editor’s Guild of India gave a notice to the AAP, denouncing the party for repeated attacks against the media — “attributing corrupt motives to the media” without providing enough evidence to back their claims.
After its landslide victory in Delhi, the AAP has become more strident.
“Before the elections, TV channels did not spare anything to ruin AAP. Even now, they are trying to discredit us in all possible ways. But, people are very smart. The more the media shows us in a negative light, the more support we will get. This time we won 67 seats and next time we may end up winning 70 seats,” Kejriwal had said soon after the results.