In a bid to water down the controversy over his threat to “crush” the electronic media, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has now said he did not mean “journalism” but “social media”.
“I have recording of my speech. I was referring to social media and the violence incited against students from the Northeast in Hyderabad and Karnataka. My comments were not about journalism”, he said on Monday night.
On Sunday, Shinde was heard threatening to “crush” the electronic media, alleging a section of it was unnecessarily provoking the Congress party by indulging in “false propaganda” against it.
Meanwhile, the BJP called Shinde’s remark as condemnable. “We are proud of the media of this country. How can the Home Minister use such language,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Congress is itself crushed under corruption and misrule and talks of crushing media.”
The outburst by Shinde, a Congress leader who hails from Maharashtra’s Sholapur district, came at a Youth Congress event here on Sunday evening.
Shinde, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Sholapur, alleged that since the last four months a section of the electronic media is “manipulating” news about him and his party and warned it would be “crushed” if this kind of reportage is not stopped immediately.
“What is happening in the electronic media largely I am aware of it. In the last four months, there have been efforts by the media to provoke us (Congress). We will crush such elements in the electronic media, which are indulging in false propaganda, if it did not stop” he said.
“I have the intelligence department under me. I know who is doing such things. I know what is happening. Some forces are behind this,” he added.