Friday, March 30, 2012

Reading tips on CM mind

Reading tips on CM mind

Calcutta, March 29: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today hinted at influencing newspaper-reading habits amid the controversy over whether the government had the right to select newspapers and periodicals for patrons in the 2,500 or so state-sponsored libraries.

"Aamra ekhon-o boli ni kon kagoj porte hobe, kintu agami dine kintu setao bole debo (Till now, we haven't named the newspapers that should be read but in the future, we will do that as well)," Mamata saidin an interaction with a select set of regional and national news channels this evening.

"Ja mithya, kutsa, apoprochar kora hochhe, tate agami dine bolbo, (Given the way lies are being spread and slander and malicious campaigning is going on, I will have to do this in future)," she added.

The library list has been expanded to include 13 newspapers, up from the original eight.

Mamata showed a circular and said: "Some people were unnecessarily criticising us by saying that we have not included English dailies. Look, this circular has one English daily along with newspapers and periodicals in Nepali and Santhali."

While the first order stated it was aimed to "contribute to the development and spread of free thinking", a senior official in the information and cultural affairs department had cited "financial constraints" as reason.

Mamata today cited another cause. "This is our policy. We will promote local and small newspapers. Big houses do not need our support," the chief minister said.

As the copy of the second order was not available till late in the evening, it could not be ascertained whether the new logic was mentioned in it.

The order, signed by Rampada Biswas, special secretary in the library services department, will be sent to the libraries tomorrow, said a government official.

Mamata also said a section of the media had blown the issue out of proportion. "It is not even an issue. But a section of media with vested interests are highlighting it to mislead people. I don't even want to discuss this," she said.

"The government is doing so many good things…. The ministers and the officials are working so hard. But a section of the media is highlighting isolated incidents to discredit the government and mislead people. In search of negative news, they are often staging incidents…. They are even trying to sour our ties with the Centre by deliberately creating confusion," the chief minister said.

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