Stung by a slew of critical media reports of her government’s actions in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has declared that the state government will launch its own television channel and newspaper.
Addressing a meeting in West Bengal, Mamata said that the channel would publicize the achievements of her government. Elaborating further TMC spokesperson Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said that the party had also decided to publish a monthly magazine.
Mamata’s latest comments come on the back of an earlier statement where she had asked the people in the state to listen to songs instead of watching certain television news channels spreading ‘false propaganda’ about her government.The newspaper, to be named ‘Dainik Paschimbanga’, would use the press of defunct Bengali daily Basumati, once a premier newspaper in the state, Banerjee told reporters here.
The TV channel, to be named ‘Paschimbanga’, would be located at Roopkala Kendra which has infrastructure for production of documentaries on development issues of different government departments.
“This (Roopkala Kendra) will be revived for highlighting the performance of various government departments,” she said.
Earlier, speaking at a WBCS officers’ convention here, she said “government work is not being highlighted properly. We need our own news channel and paper to inform the people.”
Banerjee said the media was more focused on “negative” news about the government and did not highlight the good work done.
She said a booklet on a year’s performance of the government would be released by the state.
Banerjee has been particularly affected by scathing media criticism of her government’s decision to stop procuring certain newspapers for state-aided libraries, and the seemingly arbitrary arrest of a prominent professor over the circulation of a cartoon showing her in poor light.
She said canards were being spread when she was making tireless efforts to restore the past glory of Bengal which had been ruined during the 34 years of Left rule.
Meanwhile Mamata also said that her patience with the Centre was running out because it had been almost a year since she had asked the Prime Minister and Finance Minister for a relief package for the state of West Bengal. She said that she would give the central government 15 days in which to fulfill its promises, before she made a “big issue” of it.
“We have genuine reasons and my demand is to give a tax moratorium to us. We don’t have money. I am still asking for it politely. I will wait 15 more days. I have met Prime Minister many times and met Finance Minister at least 50 times but we have got nothing till date. Not even a single penny”, she said.
In December the central government approved a special package of Rs 8,750 crore for development of backward region of West Bengal.
with inputs from PTI