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Updated: April 6, 2012 01:55 IST

I won't take it lying down, says Mamata lashing out at media

Ananya Dutta
Comment (8)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee releases ’Kalam’ a daily, in
Kolkata on Tuesday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
The Hindu West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee releases ’Kalam’ a daily, in Kolkata on Tuesday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

“Negative coverage for more TRP”

In the face of mounting criticism of the functioning of the West Bengal government in various spheres, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday lashed out at the media, declaring, “If I am attacked, I can counter-attack.”

Accusing the media of practising “blackmail,” and “yellow journalism,” “instigating riots among Hindus and Muslims” and “setting houses on fire,” Ms. Banerjee said, “Whatever is written in certain newspapers is a lie.”

“Without any reason or purpose, they have to be negative in their coverage. Why? Because it will mean more TRP (television rating points),” she said at the launch here of Kalam, a Bengali weekly catering for the interests of the minority community, as a daily.

Kalam created a stir when it was included in the list of newspapers allowed for readers in public libraries — a move for which the Trinamool Congress-led government attracted wide criticism.

Ms. Banerjee said the comparison made in some quarters that the government decision was akin to “censorship” was nothing but “crying wolf.”

“Haven't they heard about what happened to the boy who cried wolf? One day the beast will come for real.”

The Chief Minister said, “I cannot impose or bulldoze my decisions on you; you cannot impose or bulldoze me,” emphasising “it is my prerogative” to make government appointments.

Just as she could not dictate who should occupy which post in a newspaper office, it was for the government to decide who would perform better in which government appointment, Ms. Banerjee said in a remark that may be construed as a response to the front-page coverage of the transfer of Damayanti Sen, Joint Commissioner (Crime) of the city police, who contradicted the Chief Minister's remarks about the alleged rape of a 37-year-old woman while conducting investigations.

“If I make any mistakes, you can certainly point them out. But if you believe that you can blackmail me, then I will not allow it,” Ms. Banerjee added.

In the first 10 months of its coming to power, the Trinamool Congress-led government has faced severe criticism on several fronts, including a high incidence of crib deaths, farmer suicides and rapes as well as the volatile relationship between the Trinamool and the Congress at the Centre.

While the government has issued denials on nearly each of these, Ms. Banerjee accused journalists of not cross-checking their facts before reporting them. She cited reports of her mother's death even before she actually died.

“For the sake of TRP ratings they reported that my mother had died. Is wishing for death their only work?”

Ms. Banerjee also said the media had remained oblivious to the flaws of the Left Front government, failing to report its shortcomings during its 34-year-long rule.

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No outsider need to come to Bengal.The present CM, her own party men and
their actions are enough to throw them out of power.She is more becoming
intolerant even on petty issues towards the opposition, press and the
officials. She is answerable to the public and she can not run from it.
Her govt. has done nothing tangible for the betterment of the Bengal.
She has not changed her street fighter attitude.Till such time she
changes she can not return to power.

from:  trsubramanian
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 04:39 IST

Mamata is Mamata's best enemey. No other bad publicity is necessary to create ill will. All the tantrums and bad governance is not leading her or Bengal anywhere. God help Bengal

from:  J pears
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 01:50 IST

The media is been very irresponsible and publishing "cock and bull
stories" about Mamata without focusing on the real issues. They should
give the Trinamool party a full five years to perform before judging
them. Looks like, with congress loosing support in most parts of the
country, they are trying to throw dirt on Mamata and maybe trying to
blackmail her to support their policies which are are not in the long
term interests of the Nation.

from:  Jayaram
Posted on: Apr 22, 2012 at 05:20 IST

When Ms,Mamta was in opposition she cried for any decession which was taken by the CPI [M] led Govt,and let it be a good one.Ms,Mamta created very bad precedence as a opposition leader and she never allowed the CPI[M] led Govt to function.She acted as street fighter when she was in opposition.The voters of West Bengal voted her to power with the hope that she will do better then the CPI[M] led Govt,but she has failed in all quarters and still she is functioning as a street fighter.If this is her method of governing,the West Bengal voters will definitely teach a lesson in the next Parliamentary election.

from:  V.Shanmuganathan
Posted on: Apr 6, 2012 at 20:13 IST

Mamta Banerjee may have succeeded as a politician, but her tenure is going to push Bengal to more distress. She is mercurial and populist, temperamental and street smart. All this may win support from the mass for a short time but in the long run, she will be a failure. Not a singe decision taken by her atleast on the economic front is promising. Bitter economic decisions are needed to be taken in the best interest of the country. In the long run, such decisions help the people. Afterall medicine are bitter but they cure illness. Mamtadi should come out of the perpetual election mode she is in and concentrate on matured governance. She may take a leaf out of nitish kumar, narendra modi and others on reasonable governance.
All said, West Bengal has no choice - Devil or Deep Sea. If Mamta does not change, the writing will be clear on the wall. She will be thrown out and if she somehow succeeds to be CM for the next 30 years (like communists) then even " God of Gods" cannot save WB.

from:  Chockalingam
Posted on: Apr 6, 2012 at 13:45 IST

Now a days sensational news become common in media it is a very
ridiculous & painful.Journalism has great values, it is able to rise the
voice against the many non-right things& educate the people about the
various things to know. But now a days it lost it path&going in wrong
direction.Control on these non sense things is must & give the freedom
to rise the good things which are in peoples&national interest.Don't
make the weather disturb, but try to make the weather peaceful& good
relation between people.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Apr 6, 2012 at 13:01 IST

Media is the bete noire of every dictator. And the remark that media
remained oblivious to the flaws of Left Front government cannot be
believed. In general most of the media is controlled by millionaire
barons who have nothing to be cozy with Left. If the media is too
blunt now it just points to the fact the present regime is much worse
than that of the Left Front she has replaced. A dictator of a country
may be able to be in position as the army and police and other law
enforcing forces are with the dictator. The days of a dictator of a
state are numbered.

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: Apr 6, 2012 at 10:23 IST

I think only thing she has is to point fingers on others. I suppose she should concentrate on her work rather than getting into these controversies. She should be knowing that these are part and parcel of these trade. You just cant keep fighting with everyone for nothing. For her all including her own party men are her enemies.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Apr 6, 2012 at 09:52 IST
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