Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday targeted the media for “maligning” the state government’s image in the Badaun case after the CBI concluded that the two teenage cousins, whose bodies were found hanging from a tree in May, had committed suicide, and were not raped and murdered as earlier suspected.
“Today the reality of Badaun is before you and in some days, it will become clearer. Aap batao Badaun ko lekar aapne kitna sarkar ko badnaam kiya, kitna badnaam kiya aapne. (You, the media, tell how much you maligned the state government over Badaun incident). You look it up on the Internet, in the newspapers… our department has all the recordings, the stories you told of Badaun,” the CM said, while speaking at an event by the Health Department in Lucknow.
“Were you doing this on your own or under pressure from anyone? One trusts newspapers and televisions, but when it comes to Badaun, you maligned and humiliated the state government,” he said. “The government is working non-stop, but there are some (media) persons – I would say that things are not in their control, but rather with the people sitting in Delhi and NOIDA. You should introspect on your role,” Akhilesh said, questioning the role played by those who call the shots in the media industry.
He also accused newspapers and TV channels of blowing things out of proportion and a “chalu (cunning) party” for fanning it. “Humara agar koi mamla thora idhar udhar ho toh bahut charcha ho jati hai. (Any small lapse on our part suddenly becomes the point of discussion). And there is a chalu party which manipulates matters in other directions to malign us (the government) and the party,” he said in a veiled attack on BJP.
The Chief Minister then went on to list his government’s achievements and questioned the media for “overlooking” it. “No matter what our media friends discuss, no matter what headline their news stories carry, they accept that if they face any trouble on the road, they dial ‘102’ or ‘108’ for medical assistance which reaches them immediately. As many as 15,000 persons got jobs in just these two services, but have you read this in any newspaper?”
Akhilesh said: “The Chief Secretary will tell you that we have the best plans for dairy (promotion) in the country, but mediapersons always have a different ‘argument’.”
“In two and a half years of our governance, our medical services have improved a lot, medicines are being distributed for free, the form is being sold at a nominal rate, the tests and checkups are also free. How many states can boast of so many facilities to such a huge population. If you compare, UP has grown a lot. In these two and a half years, tell us about any other state government which has added 500 MBBS seats. We are also creating medical colleges, hiring doctors, paramedical staff and nurses as per the requirements. Work for Metro has also started, we reduced VAT on cycles, made cycle tracks, and are also making Agra-Lucknow expressway which will benefit the villagers. But it is correct that what good Samajwadi people do, it doesn’t stay on television screens and newspapers for long; but any small mistake would become huge for television channels and newspapers,” the CM said.
On his father and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grand birthday celebrations in Rampur, Akhilesh said, “We celebrated the birthday and you were again making a lot of noise. Old people don’t celebrate birthdays, but how many young people skip birthday celebrations?”
Earlier, UP Health Minister Ahmad Hasan vehemently expressed his displeasure with “a news channel”. “There is a news channel which asks a question and then starts flashing it; the questions are so misleading. If they only approach us, the ministers, for answers, but they don’t.”