Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is always abuzz with controversy, and they did it again by denying entry to journalists into Delhi Secretariat on the first working day of their government. And in retaliation, national media boycotted the press conference of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
And that didn't stopped there, Manish Sisodia, reiterated his position and said that "Ministers are giving interviews daily, but if the media doesn't let us talk to the public, then it is wrong."
Media saw it coming when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked members of the media not to ask for timelines as far as work in the Capital is concerned, adding that the tasks identified by him had not been taken up by other parties in the last 65 years.
"I request the media to not ask me for a timeline for the work I want to do. Other parties couldn't do it in years; in order to complete our work, we will work 24 hours a day if necessary," Kejriwal said addressing the crowds after taking oath as CM.
AAP government on Thursday, Feb 19, cleared the air and said that no ban has been imposed on media into the secretariat, but only those journalists are being allowed inside who have prior appointments with a minister or some official."Journalists who have prior appointments with ministers and officials are being allowed to enter the Secretariat and it cannot be said that there is a ban on the media's entry," an government official said.
It came after a five-member team of Delhi Press Accreditation Committee (DPAC) members met senior officials of the government and sought entry into the secretariat for at least those journalists who have cards issued by Delhi's Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP).
But the moot point about the incident are the reasons why the AAP, who likes to be in limelight through media and social media when they were out of power, restrict journalists to enter Secretariat.The action contradicts the AAP which was craving to have transparency in government's working and policies, promised of installation of 10 lakh CCTV cameras in City in its election manifesto.
Opposition cornered AAP's new dictum, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, said, "Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. If they talk of transparency then they should allow the media inside, what's there to hide?
AAP's move to restrict media is all the more worrying because of the fact that the master strategists and the core team consists of some of the noted ex-journalists of Delhi.
The list includes former television journalist Ashutosh, previously associated with IBN7, of TV18 group. Ashish Khetan, formerly with Tehelka who is Known for his ‘expose' on the Gujarat riots and Jarnail Singh, a former journalist who is known for raising the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and throwing a shoe at Union Minister P Chidambaram.