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Kerala CM attempting to gag media, alleges Ramesh Chennithala

Thursday, Nov 23, 2017,17:37 IST By anju A A A

Kottayam/Kerala | Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala today accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of attempting to gag the media in the state.

He alleged media persons were kept at bay when they reached the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday to cover the handing over of a judicial commission’s report on the sleaze talk charges against former minister A K Saseendran.

“The Chief Minister is attempting to gag the media. Entry of media is banned even in the state secretariat. Such things cannot be allowed in the state having 100 per cent literacy,” Chennithala told reporters here.

He claimed this was for the first time in the history of Kerala, the government banned media from entering the compound of the state Secretariat.

The senior Congress leader also criticised the media fraternity and their organisations for “not reacting” to the government’s ‘excesses’.

“Do you have the courage to boycott the Chief Minister’s press conference?” asked Chennithala.

He was here heading a UDF protest march “Padayorukkam” from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram against the “misrule” of BJP government at the Centre and CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala.

On Tuesday, media personnel, including those from TV channels besides photographers, were not allowed to enter the secretariat to cover the handing over of the commission’s report.

Security personnel had stopped them near the Cantonment gate and did not allow them entry.

Reacting to this, Vijayan yesterday said that neither he nor his office had given any instructions to stop the media from entering the secretariat.

“We have no intention to prevent the media from doing its work,” the chief minister said when the issue was raised during a press conference.

However, he has said, the media personnel should not try to “forcibly” elicit reactions from anyone and draw up a protocol in this regard.