Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday slammed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his threat to the media, saying that he will not allow anyone to play with freedom of the press.
"Media's freedom is soul of democracy. No one will be allowed to play with media's freedom. 1975 emergency was to trample media's freedom," he said, adding that those who enjoy the freedom should also behave responsibly. After his meeting with KCR, Javadekar said that he has taken serious note of the remarks made by the CM.
Javadekar denied reports suggesting that he had been convinced by KCR that the allegations against him were fake. "We have taken serious note of the issue and you will know what we do. We have discussed all issues him KCR," he said.
On Wednesday, Javadekar had told reporters that he "will listen to both sides... I can draw conclusion only after that."
Javadekar's statements come after KCR on Wednesday said that he would "bury the media 10 feet under the earth" if they continue to insult Telangana.
"If anybody tries to denigrate or hurt the self-respect of Telangana, Telangana Assembly, Telangana culture... we will break their necks. Be careful. Beware or else we will bury you 10km (under the earth)," KCR had said.
"We will not allow media to play games. If you do more, you will face more. I am telling you as the chief minister; if you want to stay and live here, salute us and stay. Respect our Telangana people and stay here," he had said. Notably, two channels - ATV9 and ABN Andhra Jyoti - have been banned in the state.
While opposition BJP condemned the "undemocratic" language used by Rao at a function on Wednesday in Warangal, Congress said the chief minister had "no clue about governance" and reminded him of the duty to safeguard media freedom.
However, KCR's daughter and Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP K Kavita said the chief minister's comments about the media should not be seen in isolation as the TV channels which have been blocked were "demeaning the legislative system of Telangana".
"In Warangal yesterday, he (Rao) used undemocratic language. No chief minister can use this type of language. BJP condemns KCR's statement. There is democracy and a system in this country. Nobody can take law and order into their hands. KCR is threatening the media, he is attacking mediapersons.
"The situation in the media is tense. He is threatening reporters and media managements... 'If you don't support TRS, we will see your end, we will close your channels, we will close your media', He is doing that," Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy had told reporters.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
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Updated Date: Sep 11, 2014 12:34:46 IST