Mumbai: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has courted a controversy asking journalists to "keep the packages (money) they get during the election season".
"In the next 10-12 days, you journalists will have 'Laxmi darshan'," Gadkari said at a poll rally in Sawantwadi in coastal Konkan on Saturday.
"Be it reporters or editors, there are separate packages for reporters, newspapers and their owners," Gadkari said.
"Diwali has come. I have one request, keep whatever you get. Eat whatever you can," he said.
The state secretariat and legislature journalists association flayed Gadkari's remarks.
"Gadkari's comments are highly objectionable," president of Mantralaya Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, Pravin Puro said here.
"Gadkari has said journalists accept 'packages' (for election coverage). Due to such statements, the image of journalists gets dented," Puro said.