Shillong(Meghalaya), June 30 : The ruling National Peoples Party (NPP) has slammed a leading daily here for exercising editorial judgement to publish a front-page derogatory headline referring to the head of the State as ‘Conman’, an alleged remark by TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee.
The Media & Communication Cell of NPP in a statement said that the party is anguished that a renowned media outlet is falling prey to cheap propaganda of a political party like the All India Trinamool Congress that has no right or claim to refer to the Chief Minister in such a manner.
However the party said as a political party they are not against criticism. However, targeting the head of a State with such spiteful and abusive remarks is not acceptable.
The headline that has been carried by the daily seems as a deliberate attempt to ridicule their leader, Conrad K. Sangma and malign his image in the public space.
The statement stated that NPP believes in Free and Independent Press but attacking a leader, who holds a constitutional position and the mandate of the people of Meghalaya, with such words is nothing but an intentional effort to run a smear campaign.
‘We are not against any political parties, India is a democratic nation and we welcome any political party to participate in the electioneering process. However, in an attempt to reach out to the public with their agenda, the Trinamool Congress should restrain from making such unwarranted and unprincipled remarks’, the statement said .
The statement added , that what pains the rank and file of the NPP is the culture which Trinamool Congress wishes to bring to Meghalaya. The culture of abuse, hostility, mud-slinging and misinformation. This is against our own indigenous culture. Such petty pathways to gain some headway will be rejected by the people of Meghalaya. Our state is not one where electioneering is full of violence and aggression — something not alien to the campaigning style of Trinamool Congress as already demonstrated in many previous instances.
But what is appalling is the way the daily is becoming a party to the language, propaganda and agenda of the Trinamool Congress, despite the party disrespecting the members of the press fraternity at the venue. We are grateful to other media houses who have exercised objectivity while covering the entire press event. The media should not be party to the malice of such a party. The media should adhere to ethics and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct and distinguish what is reported in the Press for public interest alone.
”It is incumbent on the media to report facts with utmost truth, accuracy and responsibility. A word that is considered abusive and may hurt the sentiments of the public at large should have been avoided. However, in this case, the daily preferred to use the word, which is a jargon of AITC used in social media campaigns to further their agenda. A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold ourselves accountable”, the statement said .
The statement stated that the daily that boldly carries the banner of “people’s interest” must be the voice of the people and not a copy-paste machine of political agenda. The people of Meghalaya stand testimony to the fact that the seven decades of journalism of the daily has not been a tainted one. It is therefore surprising how, with the entry of one party in the state, the editorial stance and judgement of the paper is getting dramatically skewed. One must actually question, whose interest is the daily furthering- the people or the AITC?
The statement ended stating that the NPP is deeply pained with the usage of the word ‘conman’ against the National President and Chief Minister of Meghalaya, and requested the daily to come out into the public domain with equal prominence, issuing an apology and acknowledging the crossing of boundaries, failing which they shall file a defamation case against the said newspaper.