The last day of poll campaigning saw some heated moments, not between the contesting parties but the media people and AAP candidate Anjali Damania whose remarks against the journos did not go down well with the scribes’ fraternity here.
Soon after AAP candidate from Nagpur Lok Sabha seat Damania alleged city media of playing up biased presentation in coverage about various political parties, the scribe union has strongly reacted to her comments terming it as baseless and holds no substance. The Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ) and Tilak Patrakar Bhavan Trust (TPBT) have condemned Damania’s remarks about calling Nagpur media ‘biased and “on politicians’ pay roll”.
Her comments also led to tension between journos and the AAP volunteers. Incident of this type was witnessed in the city for the first time.
Sources however felt that Damania coming down heavily upon media was quite unpleasant. He added that AAP’s poll management has been at the helm of disorder right from the word go. “Just favoring single media and lambasting the rest would certainly take tolerance levels to zero. Damania and his close supporters have ignored the media in stark contrast to what other candidates did. Her poll managers fetched poorly on maintain the cordial rapport with the media,” added the source.
However, a section of analysts found some substance in Damania’s allegations. “The agenda of providing news coverage as per the ‘mutual understanding’ is no longer hidden to general people. The issue of paid news has hit the nation hard, leave aside Nagpur. So there has to be smoke for every fire,” comments an expert on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, NUWJ President Bramha Shankar Tripathi, General Secretary Anupam Soni, TPBT President Pradipkumar Maitra, Secretary Shirish Borkar and other office bearers have demanded that either Damania prove the charges levelled against the media men or tender unconditional apology.
The union and the trust will also submit a memorandum regarding the issue to Collector Abhishek Krishna, who is also the Returning Officer for the election and Police Commissioner KK Pathak for necessary action.