Mamata justifies reducing of newspapers in libraries
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 23:40
  
Kolkata: Defending her government's decision to have selected newspapers in state-run and aided libraries, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that it was done to promote small newspapers.

"This is the affair of a small department (Library Services). Its budget is only Rs 19 crore. From this books and newspapers have to be bought. Therefore we have to pick and choose. We cannot buy 200 newspapers.

We will promote small newspapers," the chief minister told reporters at Writers' Buildings.

She said that in addition to eight specified newspapers another five have been included such as an English daily and a Nepali daily.

Speaking about the flak that the circular on libraries drew, she said "this is a systematic, unfair and dirty game being played by a mischievous section.

"If large newspapers can determine what price they will be sold and what its content will be, then the people's government also has its rights," she said.

Referring to the erstwhile Marxist rule in the state, she said "CPI(M) spoke about the haves and havenots, but did not promote small newspapers.

"Earlier during the previous Left Front regime, shops were not allowed to open if they did not subscribe to Ganshakti (CPI(M) mouthpiece)."

Stating that there was pressure on her because she was against allowing SEZ and lifting of the land ceiling, the chief minister claimed that this was affecting the business interests of a section.

"During the Singur agitation when I went on a 26-day fast, a section of the media was also against me and even wanted my death. But I will not deviate from the manifesto."

She claimed that efforts were being made to spoil the relations between "us and the central government and also stall development when we are trying to bring West Bengal back on the rails."

She said "when 13 youth were killed in police firing during Left rule in the early 90's and people were killed and buried in Nandigram, those raising a hue and cry now did not protest."

Asked if her government's directive amounted to a fatwa or censorship, she dismissed it saying it is not a fatwa. "What the people want we will do."

She, however, said "I have not stated yet what the people should read. But if there is conspiracy against my government, I will dictate in future what papers should be read."

She said "I will not commit a mistake knowingly. When the people will no longer want me I will go away."

PTI


First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 23:39


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