New Delhi, Jan 25: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Law Minister Somnath Bharti on Saturday launched a shrill attack on the media with the latter even accusing it of taking money from BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Bharti, who is embroiled in an escalating controversy over his "midnight raid" and faced demands for his resignation, later backtracked and apologised after being slammed for his comment.
"I didn't mean to say that and if anybody is hurt I would like to apologise to them," he said. Somnath Bharti also claimed his statement was being "misinterpreted".
As reporters continued to question Somnath Bharti earlier in the day over the controversy surrounding him, he accused them of taking money from the Gujarat chief minister.
"How much money have you received from Modiji?" he asked.
Arvind Kejriwal, who also targeted the media, however, admitted that Somnath Bharti's comments were "inappropriate".
In his address at an event organised on the eve of Republic Day at Chhatrasal Stadium here, Arvind Kejriwal said, "I don't know why media houses want people to speak against me. They are associated either with one party or another."
Citing an example, he claimed he had got a call from a reporter of a news channel who told him that he had been asked by his boss to do a negative story on AAP that its popularity is going down.
"He went outside and spoke to people, the first 50 of them were not ready to speak against us. All of them said that they were happy with the government. Many reporters are honest, media owners and some political parties are not letting them work. He said it was a compulsion as the boss has asked so he got three-four people to speak against you," claimed Arvind Kejriwal.
He argued that "this is not journalism. This is your country as well. This is wrong".
Bharti, who had chosen to attend a kite-flying festival instead of appearing before the Delhi Commission of Women yesterday after he was summoned for the midnight raid episode, also charged that the Women's Commission is "political".
Attacking DCW chief Barkha Singh, he said, "Barkha Singh is a Congress member... She should have resigned herself after her government's term ended."
Somnath Bharti was slammed by political parties for his attack on the media.
"Now, if the media starts conveying to the people the indecent behaviour and the violation of laws and norms by his own law minister, why does he becomes so narrow minded that he starts abusing the very same media who had given him so much praise in the last few years," Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Harsh Vardhan said.