Two days after BJP’s Maharashtra unit urged the state Election Commission to ban publication of Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana for three days, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Friday said that his party would not curb the freedom of speech by banning publication of any newspaper. “It is not the principle of our party to ban publication of any newspaper. So, we will not curb the freedom of speech by banning publication of any newspaper. They can write whatever they want to. If they write against the Prime Minister, they would themselves hamper their credibility,” Naidu said when asked about the state BJP’s demand.
Naidu also triggered a row when he urged BJP leaders to work towards changing the name of the river passing through Pune. “What kind of name is Mula-Mutha for a river? Rename it, like Bombay was renamed Mumbai,” he said.
NCP was quick to criticise the statement, saying that it hurt the sentiments of Pune residents. “The self-respect of citizens was hurt by the Union Minister’s remarks,” said vice-president of NCP’s city unit Ashok Rathi.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines