Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu left NDA hanging in the middle by bailing out of their alliance and also brought a no-confidence motion against BJP in the Parliament. Naidu hurled all kinds of abuses on PM Modi and like Mamata, he targeted him and his wife saying “Though he is married, he ignored his wife and did not even give her a divorce”, making things ugly between the two leaders. While he did all this, he ensured two, a nice political burial for himself and a solid platform for Jagan Mohan Reddy to stake claim for the state CM chair. And Jagan capitalized on Naidu’s mistakes. But Jagan is no angel. He is yet another pseudo-secular populist politician and a control freak like his father Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
As the state electorate was still coming to terms with the fact that the new Andhra government had allotted a huge amount of public money for Imams and Christian Pastors, a total of 2,106 crore rupees for minority welfare schemes and the extravagant state expenditure on Jagan Reddy and his family’s private visit to Jerusalem in Israel, a fresh new controversy has hit the state.
Taking a leaf straight out of his father’s rulebook, the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh has decided to sue the media houses for ‘baseless’ reports. It happens a decade after his late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy issued a similar diktat. There was a huge uproar over Reddy senior’s diktat, and he was forced to suspend later following Opposition din.
Freedom of the press should be considered a right to be exercised freely. A free and fair media is essential for the functioning of a democracy. A government may distinguish which materials are public or protected from disclosure to the public but threatening to sue goes against the very ethos of democracy and press freedom.
But what is especially upsetting is the selective silence of the elite. Imagine a Raghubar Das or a Yogi Adityanath or a Yeddyurappa issuing a similar statement? What do you think, the reaction would have been? The media fraternity along with their pals from the civil society would have been up in arms against the government. But Jagan curbing press freedom and threatening to sue them is not even an issue for the Barkhas and Ranas and Rajdeeps of the world because it comes from a supposedly secular politician. Jagan Mohan Reddy who refused to light a diya before inaugurating a program in the US and whose Road Transport Corporation issued tickets to travellers from Tirupati to the temple town of Tirumala with advertisements of Haj and Jerusalem pilgrimage on the back, is a political untouchable for the liberal elites of India. The duplicity of the liberal elites of India is nauseating, to say the least.