Earlier today, the leader of opposition in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis interacted with Girish Kuber, the Editor of the Express group’s Marathi daily Loksatta, where the former chief minister took a swipe at the journalists, alleging that they are deluded into believing that they wield the power of making and breaking governments.
“The mainstream media journalists have come to believe that they can form the government or topple it,” Fadnavis said.
Fadnavis’ barely veiled attack on organisations like Loksatta was not lost on Kuber, who tried to defend his organisation’s relationship with politicians. “Media organisations are like dogs snapping at the heels of a bullock cart,” Kuber said while responding to Fadnavis’ assertion.
Loksatta has relinquished its role of being anti-establishment ever since Maha Vikas Aghadi government came into power in Maharashtra: Fadnavis
Fadnavis also indirectly accused Loksatta of being partisan and overly deferential to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. He said that the paper, which prided itself on being anti-establishment for years had forsaken its role of the neutral organisation after the Maha Vikas Aghadi government came to power in Maharashtra.
“I have been closely watching the Express Group as well as Loksatta. Be it our government or any other party government, Loksatta was known as an anti-establishment newspaper and an organisation that voiced the concerns of the people. For years, this has been the legacy of the Express Group,” Fadnavis said.
He further continued, “However, today, if we look at Loksatta after this government(MVA) came to power, and I can give you a comparative on this. After all, I am in politics and I can give you a comparison on this. This is not an allegation but it feels like somewhere Loksatta has relinquished its role of being anti-establishment. The reason could be anything, I don’t know about it but it feels like Loksatta has abandoned its role of being anti-establishment. Because it is you, I am being pretty straightforward, I have no reason to say this behind your back,” Fadnavis said.
Maha Vikas Aghadi government has low tolerance to criticism: Fadnavis
Fadnavis also highlighted how it is easy to criticise the BJP in media and social media but it is not the same with the Maha Vikas Agahdi government. Accusing the Maharashtra government of being intolerant to criticism, Fadnavis said that a single post against MVA or the chief minister attracted action against 10,000 BJP workers across the state.
“It is easy to criticise BJP in media and social media, but it is not the case with the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Even a single post criticising the government or the chief minister results in action against 10,000 BJP workers across the state,” Fadnavis said.
भाजपावर टीका करणे सोपे आहे. कारण, ती ऐकून घेतली जाते.— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) June 5, 2021
पण, आता सरकारवर टीका करणार्या 10,000 भाजपा कार्यकर्त्यांवर कारवाई झाली.
(लोकसत्ता, दृष्टी आणि कोन/दि. 4 जून 2021) pic.twitter.com/vl0fMMaVP8
He also slammed media for making a mountain out of a molehill when corpses were seen floating in rivers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. For two days, a smear campaign against the Uttar Pradesh government was run in media even when it was established that dumping bodies in rivers was years-old practice, said Fadnavis, adding that the same scrutiny was not extended to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra’s Beed district when 22 dead bodies were crammed in a single ambulance and taken for cremation.