Banning newspaper is not BJP's culture: Venkaiah Naidu

Union minister Venkaiah Naidu snubbed his own party amidst election campaign at Pune on Friday. 

Published: 17th February 2017 04:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2017 04:49 PM   |  A+A-

Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. (File|PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu snubbed his own party amidst election campaign at Pune on Friday. 
BJP spokesperson Shweta Shalini had demanded to the State Election Commision (SEC) that publication of Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana should be suspended for three days including the day of voting. However, Naidu, while addressing a media persons' meet said that that the feat was utterly wrong and banning newspapers was not the culture of his party.
"It is not our party's culture to ban a newspaper. So, we won't ban any newspaper and curb the freedom of expression. Let people write whatever they want. If they are going to write against Prime Minister, they would themselves stoop low," Naidu said while replying to queries about the BJP's complaint against the Shiv Sena mouthpiece with the SEC.
Meanwhile, the SEC, who in a recent order had put a ban on advertisements by the political parties within the two days preceding the day of voting, has taken note of the BJP's letter and sought explanation from Shiv Sena.
"Saamana publishes content that gives a political advantage to Shiv Sena. The SEC needs to ascertain whether it amounts to violation of model code of conduct and whether it is included in the election expenditure of the party candidates," Shalini had said in her letter. If the expenditure on Saamana is not included in election expenditure of party candidates, it needs to be considered 'paid news' he had contended in her letter.
However, the feat attracted heavy criticism, calling the demand as BJP's attempt to curb the freedom of expression. 
Naidu also snubbed his party men over local politics. "Due care needs to be taken before inducting anyone to the party," he said while replying to questions over large-scale infusion of people with dubious background to the BJP.
Naidu, however, also slammed the Shiv Sena calling their criticism of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as mere "outburst of frustration".
"The heavy criticism of each other by BJP and the Shiv Sena is not an ideal situation for political parties who are in an alliance. However, I fail to understand how the Shiv Sena, that had been criticising the Congress all along has suddenly started praising the party," Naidu said.

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