Kejriwal, Bharti mount attack on media

Kejriwal, Bharti mount attack on media

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Law Minister Somnath Bharti today mounted an attack on the media with the latter even going on to accuse it of taking money from Narendra Modi.

In his address at an event organised on the eve of Republic Day at Chhatrasal Stadium here, Kejriwal said, "I don't know why media houses want people to speak against me. They are associated either with one party or another."

Citing an example, he claimed he had got a call from a reporter of a news channel who told him that he had been asked by his boss to do a negative story on AAP that its popularity is going down.

"He went outside and spoke to people, the first 50 of them were not ready to speak against us. All of them said that they were happy with the government. Many reporters are honest, media owners and some political parties are not letting them work. He said it was a compulsion as the boss has asked so he got three-four people to speak against you," claimed Kejriwal.

He argued that "this is not journalism. This is your country as well. This is wrong".Earlier in the day, Bharti also targeted the media.

As reporters continued to question him over the controversy surrounding him, he accused them of taking money from the Gujarat chief minister. "How much money have you received from Modi?" he asked.

However, he later backtracked and apologised after being criticised for the comment."I didn't mean to say that and if anybody is hurt I would like to apologise to them," he said. Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Harsh Vardhan used the opportunity to attack Kejriwal on the issue.

"Now, if the media starts conveying to the people the indecent behaviour and the violation of laws and norms by his own law minister, why does he becomes so narrow minded that he starts abusing the very same media who had given him so much praise in the last few years," he said.

Bharti, who had chosen to attend a kite flying festival instead of appearing before the Delhi Commission of Women yesterday after he was summoned for the midnight raid episode, charged that the Women's Commission is "political".

Attacking DCW chief Barkha Singh, he said, "Barkha Singh is a Congress member... She should have resigned herself after her government's term ended." Terming all the reports against him as false, he claimed, "They are trying to defame me, I am going to take them to the court."

However, it was not clear who he was referring to. Replying to his jibe, Singh shot back, "This is totally wrong. Commission acts against all the complaints which come to us and there is nothing political about it. The way his lawyer misbehaved with us, everyone has seen it. Does he himself deserve to continue in his post? He should resign himself, who is he to seek my resignation?"

DCW had yesterday summoned Bharti following allegations that the Delhi minister led a group of AAP workers who misbehaved with a number of African women on the pretext of the raid on an alleged drug and prostitution ring in South Delhi last week.

Bharti was asked to depose before the commission to explain the charges against him but he sent his lawyers, who said he was absent due to "some urgencies". Bharti's lawyers and the Commission Chief Singh, a former Congress MLA, had a public confrontation at the DCW office after she refused to allow them to present the minister's response.

AAP had yesterday said in a statement that it "strongly disapproved of the politicisation of the office of Delhi Commission for Women by its chairperson".

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