May 19, 2024

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At public function in Patna, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad take dig at each other

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Nitish_Kumar_vs_Lalu_Prasad_360_18Jan14Patna: It was a function organised by a newspaper group to kick start its edition from Patna, but it soon transformed into a battleground for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his arch rival, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, as they verbally sparred in public – that too in the presence of union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

It all started with Mr Prasad, who in his speech said the state government was ‘controlling’ the media in an attempt to ‘black out’ news of rivals like him.

“A few persons in an attempt to create history are hogging all the space in the newspapers on the basis of lure of advertisements … The newsmen are dishing out news that suits the government like parrots,” he said.

He even quoted a report by Press Council Chairman Markandey Katju on how there’s a drop in media reports in the state critical of the Nitish government.

Mr Prasad, in fact, referred to his days as chief minister when the media used to be very critical. “They did not even spare the Rabri Devi government,” he said.

When Mr Kumar’s turn came, he, without naming Mr Prasad, said now in the age of social media, even an old-time politician has now joined Twitter, but in his days he (Mr Prasad) used to decide which photo will be published in the papers.

“People forget the time when they used to decide which photograph and which news will appear on which page of the newspapers,” Mr Kumar said.

To which Mr Prasad commented that newspapers and TV can’t sell without him.

“Please see his open admission, but I’m not so powerful and can’t claim as Laluji’s boasting,” replied Mr Kumar.

The chief minister finally requested the media to not publish his photographs and be critical of his government as much as possible.

“Nobody can say I ever telephoned any editor of a newspaper or electronic media to complain about any news … There is complete freedom whether you give news in favour of us or criticise us,” he said.

Courtesy: NDTV

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