HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday drew flak from rival parties over his remark that he would “bury” the media “10km under the earth” if it “insults” his State, even as journalists protesting against the blocking of two TV news channels were taken into preventive custody outside Raj Bhavan.
While opposition BJP condemned the “undemocratic” language used by Mr Rao at a function on Tuesday in Warangal, Congress said the Chief Minister had “no clue about governance” and reminded him of the duty to safeguard media freedom.
However, Mr Rao’s daughter and Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP K Kavita said the Chief Minister’s comments about the media should not be seen in isolation as the TV channels which have been blocked were “demeaning the legislative system of Telangana”.
“In Warangal yesterday, he (Mr. Rao) used undemocratic language. No Chief Minister can use this type of language. BJP condemns KCR’s statement. There is democracy and a system in this country. Nobody can take law and order into their hands. KCR is threatening the media, he is attacking mediapersons,” Telangana BJP president G. Kishan Reddy said.
“The situation in the media is tense. He is threatening reporters and media managements... ‘If you don’t support TRS, we will see your end, we will close your channels, we will close your media’, He is doing that,” Mr. Reddy added.
Mr Reddy said he would take up the matter with Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar when he visits the state tomorrow.
“If anybody tries to denigrate or hurt the self-respect of Telangana, Telangana Assembly, Telangana culture... we will break their necks. Be careful. Beware or else we will bury you 10km (under the earth),” Mr Rao had said.
“We will not allow media to play games. If you do more, you will face more. I am telling you as the chief minister; if you want to stay and live here, salute us and stay. Respect our Telangana people and stay here,” he had said.
Mr. Rao’s statement follows the blocking by the Association of Telangana Multiple System Operators (cable TV operators) of the transmission of TV channels ABN Andhra Jyothi and TV9 since June 16, alleging that they had aired programmes “denigrating the Telangana dialect, sentiment and hurting the feelings” of the people of the State.