After her caution last month that a time may come when she will dictate to the public which newspapers they should read, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday advised people on what television channels they should watch.
Addressing a gathering at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, she asked the congregation to desist from watching “two, three television news channels,” alleging that they were sponsored by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and suggested that the people, instead, watch entertainment channels.
“There are two-three television channels of the CPI(M) you should not watch. Listen to songs on other channels,” she said, referring to names of certain channels which people should watch.
While certain steps by her government led to criticism in a section of the media, Ms. Banerjee remained unperturbed.
“Nothing will be achieved by spreading canards and making false propaganda against me,” she told the gathering.
Ms. Banerjee said she did not want to hang on to power, adding the day the maa, mati, manus (mother, land and people) of the State wanted her to go, she would leave.
Earlier, on several occasions, Ms. Banerjee criticised a section of the media for being biased and presenting her government in a bad light.
Last month, the government restricted the subscription of newspapers to a prescribed list in the government-run, aided and sponsored libraries. The initiative, which, the State government claimed, was to promote small newspapers and spread free thinking, was widely criticised as an attack on the right of the freedom of speech and expression.