Facing criticism from several quarters,the West Bengal government on Thursday included five more newspapers to the list of eight newspapers that it has ordered the public libraries of the state to offer to readers.
The fresh set of newspapers include English daily The Times of India,Aajkal,a Bengali vernacular,Kalam,another Bengali language newspaper meant for the minorities,all published from Kolkata,Himalaya Darpan,a Nepali language newspaper published from Siliguri,and another newspaper in Ol-Chiki script.
The new order,signed by special secretary,department of library services,Rampada Biswas,was issued today.
We were hesitant on whether we should include any English language newspaper as common people have a problem with the English language. We settled for The Times of India, said Abdul Karim Choudhury,minister for library services,at his office at Bikash Bhavan.
The eight newspapers in the list include Sambad Pratidin,Ekdin,Dainik Statesman,Khabar 365 Din,Sakalbela,all Bengali vernaculars,Sanmarg,a Hindi newspaper,Azad Hind and Akhbar-e-Mashriq,two Urdu newspapers.
Meanwhile,a PIL was filed today in the Calcutta High Court challenging the order of the state government on newspapers by advocate Basabi Roychoudhury. The order is violative of Article 14 (equality before law) and Article 19 (freedom of expression) and we want the order withdrawn by the government, Sabyasachi Chatterjee,advocate of the case,told The Indian Express.
The case will be moved to the court of Chief Justice J N Patel tomorrow.
In the state assembly,the Left Front wanted to raise an adjournment motion on the issue but were not allowed by Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay. In the afternoon,a delegation of Left MLAs met Governor M. K. Narayanan and submitted a memorandum on the issue.