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Vyapam scam: MP Minister draws flak over remarks on journalist’s death

Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya has stoked a controversy with his insensitive remarks on the death of TV journalist Akshay Singh, who died under mysterious circumstances while covering the high-profile Vyapam scam.

“Patrakar vatrakar chhodo, aaj hum se bada patrakar he kya (Forget the journalist. Is there any bigger journalist than me today,” Mr. Vijaywargiya, who is also BJP’s national general secretary, told reporters when they raised the issue of Akshay’s death two days back.

Congress attacked the BJP leader, saying his remarks were condemnable and he should apologise.

“The remarks are condemnable. They smack of his arrogance. He should apologise,” Digvijay Singh, who is a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, said.

Mr. Vijaywargiya had been queried by reporters over the journalist’s death on Saturday during felicitation at the state BJP office following his appointment as the party’s national general secretary in-charge of West Bengal, in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

However, in a statement issued today, he clarified his earlier remarks and expressed solidarity with the deceased scribe in particular and journalists in general. “The untimely death of Akshay is very unfortunate.

Despite criticism and counter-criticism, journalists are subjected to perform their duties with great difficulty and who knows about it better than me. I share their feelings and scribes in the state as well as in the country are fully aware of it,” said the statement issued by BJP’s media in-charge Hitesh Bajpai on behalf of Mr. Vijaywargiya.

“But I am deeply hurt by the way a section of media is spreading misinformation campaign about me. I responded to the question put up by a journalist in an informal manner which according to me was an ‘off-the-record’ conversation,” he said.

“The way this off-the-record conversation was turned into a sensational one is really painful for me. I don’t want to give any clarification. I just want an answer from journalists in Madhya Pradesh who know me that do they think Kailash Vijaywargiya is so insensitive?” he said.

“Is it not misuse of journalism profession? I expect a reply from the scribes,” he said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:59:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/vyapam-scam-mp-minister-kailash-vijaywargiya-draws-flak-over-remarks-on-journalists-death/article7392006.ece

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