The 48-hour telecast ban imposed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on two Malayalam news channels for their coverage on Delhi riots has invited sharp criticism from political parties in Kerala.
Congress, CPI(M), CPI and IUML in separate statements condemned the decision of the centre to enforce telecast ban on Asianet News and MediaOne terming it as 'brazen attempt to gag free press' and 'unconstitutional' move against media freedom.
CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that it is a vile strategy to intimidate the media. "Such action is not a decoration for any democratic country. This shows the fascist approach of the central government," he said.
CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said that the government's decision to ban two channels without giving any notice is reminiscent of the emergency period.
"Delhi riots were reported by these channels in a fair manner. This is an attack on the freedom of the press, " he said.
Congress leader and Kerala opposition leader in a tweet Ramesh Chennithala wrote, "Decision to halt the telecast of Media One and Asianet news by Modi Government is unconstitutional and against the freedom of the press. All democratic minds should unite to voice against this fascist decision. These media did a wonderful job in bringing out the gravity of communal violence in Delhi, "
Many prominent political leaders including Congress leaders KC Venugopal, Shashi Tharoor, CPM leader and Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja took to social media to condemn the move.
"The fourth estate is the pillar of democracy and attempts to suppress the media by the government is extremely worrying. I join all democratic-minded citizens in strongly condemning such attempts to muzzle the media by the government, " said Oommen Chandy, former Kerala CM and senior Congress leader in a Facebook post. (ANI)