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Arun Jaitley slams Congress media promises, Chidambaram hits back

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New Delhi, Apr 04: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday called the promises in Congress Manifesto anachronic, referring to the suggestions on media which are supposed to regulate, restrict free journalism.

Arun Jaitley slams Congress media promises, Chidambaram hits back

"Curtailing press freedom has been the tradition of Nehru-Gandhi family. Indiraji's passionate dislike for free media was well-known, she used to refer to India's leading newspapers as the 'monopoly press'. The Congress in 1960s & 70's experimented various misadventures with the press," said Jaitley while attacking the Congress party's media promises.

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Responding to Jaitley's attacks on the Congress party's manifesto, former finance minister P Chidambaram asked him why hasn't the saffron party answered the questions on withdrawal of AFSPA from Tripura, Meghalaya, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

"There is no tukhde tukhde gang in the Congress. There is only a flip flop gang in the BJP," he said.

In its manifesto released on Tuesday, the Congress party has made the promise for a free and self-regulated media.

"In recent times, sections of the media have been abused or surrendered their freedom. Nevertheless, we believe that self-regulation is the best way to correct the abuse of media freedom. Congress promises to amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to strengthen the system of self-regulation, protect the freedom of journalists, uphold editorial independence and guard against government interference," the manifesto says.

The Press Council Act, 1978 is meant for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.

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