Panaji, Feb 26: The controversy over Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s comments against the media has now reached the Press Council of India (PCI).
Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar Wednesday complained to the Press Council that Parrikar’s “irresponsible and abusive” comments against media at a public function Sunday was his attempt to curb freedom of press.
“Parrikar, who is one of the most educated chief ministers… made such abusive and derogatory remarks on integrity and sincerity of press reporters only reflects his irresponsible and rash attitude towards freedom of press,” the complaint read.
“It raises serious doubts on his political acumen and is highly unsuitable for a politician of his calibre,” it said.
“The press in Goa has been very active and responsible in reporting various facts and happenings in the state of Goa as it is in the interest of the society.”
“We highly appreciate it, but it seems Parrikar cannot digest any wrongdoings and criticism of his government by any section of the society, including the press, hence his remarks expose his intentions…,” the complaint states.
Speaking at a public function, Parrikar had said: “What is a reporter’s salary…How much does a news reader earn? Maybe 25,000 (rupees). They are mostly graduates. They are not great thinkers…intellectuals. They write news how they understand it.”
Parrikar also said that there was prevalence of paid news in Goa, where “people take money to write”.
The opposition as well as the Goa Journalists’ Union criticised Parrikar and demanded an apology from him.
However, Parrikar claims to have been quoted out of context.