The Kolkata Press Club has issued a statement expressing that it is ‘deeply concerned’ about Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s jab on journalists. The Krishnagar MP had reportedly called journalists ‘two paisa press’ in an internal Trinamool meeting.
The press club has also sought an apology from Moitra, and demanded that she withdraw her statement.
The club in a statement said, “In a democratic set up, the importance of journalism and the respect it commands is known to all. Journalists braving adverse situations as part of their professional struggle and social responsibility are respected by globally.”
Moitra has responded saying that the press “should maybe look at their abysmally falling standards of members and the miserable state of the paid godi media.”
Leaders Condemn Moitra’s Remark
Meanwhile, several politicians condemned the TMC MP Moitra’s remark.
TMC MP and actor Nusrat Jahan said the media has been tirelessly focused on humane stories and the remarks are unfortunate, reported news agency PTI.
“Not only political, from damages caused by Cyclone Amphan to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on people, but the media has also been tirelessly focused on humane stories; we cannot run media down,” Jahan said.
Forest Minister and TMC leader Rajib Banerjee said, as per PTI: "Such derogatory comments against any individual, more regarding the media, is unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha MP Adhir Chowdhury said that such remarks by an MP, that go against one of the pillars of democracy, are “unacceptable”
What Did Moitra Say?
In an interview to The Wire, the MP said that she was attending an internal party workers’ meeting where the press wasn’t allowed, when a group of party workers created commotion. They "were against the president of the town," Moitra said, “I was trying to sort out the matter."
It was then that someone called the local press to gain some leverage, and Moitra, in her disappointment towards her party workers’ actions expressed, “Why do you call these ‘dui poeshar (two rupee) press‘ here’?” It was then that she claims someone at a distance recorded her comment.
The MP has further added that she stands by her words and believes that the press does not belong at an internal party meeting.
She has also urged the Press Club to not “waste their time” issuing statements against her, when this is a matter of “bad elements” within the party calling the media for personal gains.
(With inputs from The Wire)