The BJP on Wednesday took exception to a report covered by Indian media quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as having told a party gathering yesterday that “nationalists are with us” and “let us reach out to Dalits and backwards”.
In a statement, the party said that there were forces which were constantly trying to break the social fabric of the country by carrying out a disinformation campaign against the pro-development and pro-people Modi government.
Describing the media as fourth pillar of democracy, the statement said it should understand its responsibilities.
This is not the first time the BJP leaders have expressed their objection to media coverage. This despite the fact that the party has been a beneficiary of favourable media coverage in India over the last two years. Its detractors have always accused the country’s overwhelming majority of media of having surrendered their freedom to the central government for alleged financial rewards.
Stating that agenda of the country should be development, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had last month expressed unhappiness over “sensationalism getting prominence” over it in the news and asked media to be “constructive”.
“As a Minister for Information and Broadcasting I’m going to interact with media, with media owners, editors in the coming days, because the agenda of the country should be development,” he said.
Naidu said people want development, they want good governance and that should be the headline, “any other information will be deadline not the headline”.
“Unfortunately in India obstruction is a news, destruction is a news and construction will not make news; sensationalism is news, things that have no sense are sensationalized and it becomes news,” he said.
Naidu said he was not asking media not to criticise the government or the Prime Minister.
“What I m pleading with the media is please be constructive. I’m not saying praise Modi, no you criticize Modi, but focus should be on development. Tell people Modi had said this, it has not happened or this much has happened and this much has not,” he added.