Sharad Pawar, nephew take on media in Maharashtra

February 10th, 2011 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Satara (Maharashtra), Feb 10 (IANS) Nearly a week after Maharashtra’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar suggested a gag on the media, his uncle and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Thursday criticised the fourth estate.Speaking to newspersons here, Pawar senior expressed his displeasure over media reports pertaining to the recent plunge in onion prices in the state.

“When the onion prices shot up, I was blamed. Now, when the onion rates have plummeted, I am being held responsible. I must be careful now with the media,” an irritated Pawar said when bombarded with questions on the onion prices.

Last week at a function in Nanded, Ajit Pawar attacked the media for allegedly indulging in untruths and half-truths and suggested a gag on those practising such journalism.

This kicked up a storm across the state, with the Patrakar Halla Virodhi Kruti Samiti boycotting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s weekly media briefing Wednesday.

Seeking an unconditional apology from Ajit Pawar, mediapersons continued their protest across the state.

Pune mediapersons Thursday boycotted the proceedings attended by the deputy chief minister at a function in honour of Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who passed away last month.

Assembled journalists, sporting black ribbons, stopped writing while the electronic media switched off their television cameras when he came on the dais to speak.

Earlier, a delegation of mediapersons called on Governor K. Sankaranarayanan to protest against his remarks.

Unfazed by the protests, Pawar denied having made the remarks and met Chavan Wednesday to clarify his stand on the issue.

However, mediapersons have stuck to their stand and said that unless Pawar junior apologises, they would continue to boycott him.

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