Two days after it was revealed that Delhi government had told its officials to file cases against the media if they published or aired “defamatory news”, opposition parties BJP and Congress continued their attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. While BJP called the circular “another tactic of AAP to employ many of its volunteers in government”, Congress called it an “authoritarian” act.
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“It seems Kejriwal is frustrated with the media from the day he came to power. First he banned entry of media persons into the secretariat and now this circular to silence the media. They have even stopped government advertisement in a few newspapers, which wrote against the government,” Satish Upadhyay, BJP’s Delhi unit chief, said.
“We hear accreditation of many journalists are being suspended. BJP will meet the Lt-Governor to demand his intervention to ensure media freedom in Delhi and legal action against all AAP MLAs involved in lawlessness during the past three months,” he said.
Congress termed the circular undemocratic. “It is an authoritarian act. We strongly condemn it,” DPCC chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said. “The despotic circular issued by the AAP government goes against the democratic principles of freedom of expression as envisaged in our Constitution,” Mukherjee said.
State Congress chief Ajay Maken has written a letter to L-G Najeeb Jung saying that the government circular was an assault on democratic rights and an attempt to “hush difference of opinion and transparency”.