Even as NCP president Sharad Pawar on Friday criticised the media in a post on his Facebook page for allotting too much time to a particular political leader and ignoring other leaders, his daughter Supriya Sule praised the media the world over “for always giving Sharad Pawar and his family top priority in their coverage.”
Sule’s comments came in reply to a ‘paid news’ notice served to her by the District Election Office. On April 15, the office had sought a clarification regarding an alleged ‘paid news’ published in some local newpapers — at least two English newspapers and a few Marathi newspapers.
In reply, Sule through her polling representative Kiran Gujar, a close associate of Sharad Pawar, said, “We have not issued any paid news to any newspaper. Calling the news as paid news will be like questioning the credibility of these newspapers… Since we have not issued any paid news, there is no questioning of including this under our election expenditure.” Sule’s office had to sent in the clarification as the district election office had objected to a picture of Sule and her children published in the newspapers, describing it as ‘paid news’.
At least four-five days before the polling, Sule’s children had participated in the campaigning for their mother. The picture was published in several Pune newspapers.
In her defence, her office said, “Supriya Sule is the daughter of Sharad Pawar, a national leader. Pawar has been in politics since 1967 and has served as chief minister, MP and Union Minister. He has made invaluable contributions to various fields. This has given him immense popularity among the masses. The fourth pillar of democracy, the media, has given Pawar a prominent place.”
The reply added, “Sule is contesting for the second time from Baramati. She has worked for women empowerment and the country’s edia has given her coverage on a large scale. As family members such as Sunetra Pawar, Nandati Pawar, Sharmila Pawar, Nita Patil, Rajnitai Indulkar have participated, the media took note of it. Even Supriya’s husband Sadanand Sule, who stays away from the limelight, participated in the campaign. And so did her children, Revati and Vijay… It happens to be big news for the media and so they covered it.”
Deputy District Election Officer Apurva Wankhede said, “We will comment about any action taken in the matter on Monday.”
Sule, however, said, “The matter has ended as the poll office has accepted our contentions”.