The Editors Guild of India on Friday condemned Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal for his repeated attacks on the media and described his wholesale accusation as reflective of an intolerant mindset that resented any critical scrutiny.
This is the second time in less than a month that the Guild has taken exception to the AAP’s attack on the media.
Describing Mr. Kejriwal’s repeated attacks as violative of all norms of decent democratic debate, the Guild said: “His wholesale accusation against the media as being bought by a particular political party and candidate and his threat, even if it be an empty one, to send media persons to prison after an enquiry reflect an intolerant mind-set.”
The Guild issued the statement after a television channel aired Mr. Kejriwal’s speech at an AAP dinner fund-raising event in Nagpur, where he alleged that some media houses were on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s payroll. He also said that if his party came to power, such journalists would be put behind bars.
The Guild said it was the democratic right of the free media to raise any issue and subject any public person or party to scrutiny and it was ridiculous to label criticism of a party or of a political leader as “paid news.”
“One hopes the intolerance that is reflected in Arvind Kejriwal’s recent attacks on the media does not represent the new style of politics promised by the Aam Aadmi Party and its leaders,” the statement said.