Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde did a U-turn on Tuesday on his remarks about “crushing elements in the electronic media” who were allegedly orchestrating campaigns against the Congress. He clarified that he was talking about the social media and not “journalism”. “Hum social media ke bare mein bol rahe the. Journalism ke baare mein hum ne kucchh nahi kaha,” he told reporters in Solapur.
Refering to incidences of violence against people from the Northeast in several cities, which were reportedly sparked by rumours spread through social media and video sharing website, Shinde said, “What I said yesterday was about the social media. I have the recording (of the speech). I was talking about the atrocities committed against the people hailing from the Northeast. People from the Northeast who were returning to their homes from Hyderabad and cities in Karnataka were beaten up inside the train. I was talking about social media in this context. I didn’t say anything about journalism.”
Speaking at a rally of Youth Congress workers Sunday evening, Shinde had stoked a controversy by saying that he will “crush” the electronic media, alleging a section of it was unnecessarily indulging in “false propaganda” against the Congress.
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“Certain section of the electronic media has opened a front against us for last three to four months. It’s their (media’s) responsibility to report truth. However, certain elements in the media are orchestrating nasty designs against us. Since, I am also in charge of the intelligence wing, I know from where this is coming from. We will crush these elements in the electronic media,” he had said.