KOCHI/T’PURAM: At a time when the LDF is planning to rope in the Opposition UDF in its bid to strip the governor of chancellorship, Arif Mohammed Khan himself set the stage for the rivals to unite when he barred two news channels from attending his press conference in Kochi on Monday.
During a media interaction at Ernakulam Guest House, a livid Khan asked representatives of MediaOne TV, operated by Madhyamam Broadcasting, and CPM-backed Kairali TV to leave. The open insult to the media invited sharp responses from CPM state secretary M V Govindan and Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan who termed the governor’s move fascist.
“Get out from here,” Khan told reporters of the two channels who were among the reporters who arrived at the guest house following an invite from the Raj Bhavan. “I do not want to speak to you,” he said, accusing MediaOne of targeting him on his stand on the Shah Bano case. He claimed Kairali had aired wrong news against him and did not rectify it despite requests from the Raj Bhavan.
When asked whether his decision to bar the channels from the briefing amounted to intolerance, Khan retorted that it was the media’s interpretation. When told that the two channels figured in the list of media houses approved by Raj Bhavan, Khan said he would check whether it was an oversight by his office. In the evening, DYFI and journalists took out protest marches to the Raj Bhavan.