Keeping up its attack on the government over the mass resignations from Censor Board, the Congress on Sunday said that I&B Minister Arun Jaitley cannot “hide inefficiency, corruption and maladministration within his Ministry through a good turn of phrase”.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also rejected Mr. Jaitley’s statement in which he described the nine members who resigned as “rebels without a cause” and termed Leela Samson, who quit as the chief of the board, a “non–functional chairperson”. The Minister’s “good turn of phrase appears misapplied” in this case, he said.
“If 10 people, all of them very respected in their fields, headed by a chairperson who is widely respected... say there is grave maladministration, there is grave corruption, inefficiency... I think it behoves the government and the Minister to look into it, to show care and concern rather than to indulge in a quick turn of phrase or in rejection or criticism,” he said.
The remarks came a day after the nine Censor Board members resigned protesting against the “cavalier and dismissive manner” in which it is treated by the government.
Before that Ms. Samson, who headed the statutory body under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, resigned amidst the row over the clearance for screening to ‘Messenger of God’ fim, featuring Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
In his response yesterday, Mr. Jaitley accused Ms. Samson and the nine Censor Board members of politicising the issue of their resignation.
He said “the NDA government maintains an arm’s length distance in all matters relating to film certification”.‘Samson is wrong’
Former Censor Board chairman and veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher said, “I think Leela Samson is wrong technically... I think she finished her term long time back and if I remember Prakash Javadekar had asked her to continue. If she was feeling that there was something wrong she should have raised the question that time,” Mr. Kher said.
In 2004, the UPA government dismissed the then Censor Board headed by Mr. Kher merely on the ground that he was appointed by the earlier government. Mr. Kher said that he felt Ms. Samson was trying to politicise the issue.