Kerala CM lashes out at media over ''false news''

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday lashed out at the media, especially a dozen TV news channels, for not being "interested in credibility" and giving out "false news".

IANS| Updated: Jan 21, 2015, 21:34 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday lashed out at the media, especially a dozen TV news channels, for not being "interested in credibility" and giving out "false news".

The media should be careful that they give correct news, Chandy told reporters here after chairing the weekly cabinet meeting.

"If you do not wish to cross-check the veracity of your news report, then it is your credibility that will take a beating. The credibility of my government has no problem at all and it cannot be lowered by giving wrong news," Chandy said.

"It is rather very unfortunate that you (the media) are not interested in your credibility and that is why you give false news," he said.

A section of the media is critical of the Congress-led government that faces various charges including that of graft.

Chandy took on the media after it came out with the news that the cabinet meeting Wednesday decided to give promotion to four senior police officers to the rank of director general of police and it was meant to remove Jacob Thomas -- also promoted -- who is probing a graft case involving Finance Minister K.M. Mani.

The Vigilance Department has registered a case against Mani in the bar graft case.

"All what happened was these four police officials had completed 30 years of service and they are eligible for grade promotion and that was given. Thomas will continue to probe the case and no change in that will take place," said Chandy.

Trouble began for Chandy and Mani ever since whistleblower bar owner Biju Ramesh alleged in October 2014 that Rs.1 crore was given to Mani as the first instalment of the Rs.5 crore he demanded to help reopen bars that were closed under the state`s new liquor policy.

"As and when somebody owns up for the audio tapes and its contents, then I will speak on it," the chief minister said while referring to the two audio recordings of alleged telephone conversations between the whistleblower and leaders of the ruling UDF released Monday which ostensibly showed that the politicians knew about the Rs.1 crore bribe allegedly taken by Mani.

"We, the UDF government, announced our full support to Mani the day this allegation surfaced and he is the one who will be presenting the next budget. No one can destabilise our government," Chandy said.

The Left opposition, led by former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, is up in arms and has demanded that Mani be arrested.

Meanwhile, whistleblower Ramesh Wednesday appeared before the Vigilance Department officials and handed over an audio tape containing the conversations which according to him reveal crucial evidence that could implicate Mani.