The Press Club, Kolkata, issued a statement criticising a derogatory comment made by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on journalists. In a press release written in Bengali, the Press Club, Kolkata, wrote on Monday that the comment made by the Krishnanagar MP regarding journalists was “deeply concerning” and they “strongly protest” against it.
In a video, which is being circulated on Twitter and WhatsApp, Moitra can be heard calling journalists as “two-paisa press” in a Trinamool Congress workers’ meeting. Local news channels have mentioned that the MP did not allow journalists to cover the meeting and shooed them away.
Video Credit – Local news channels
“In this democratic setup, the importance of journalism and the respect it deserves is known by all. In unfavourable situations, the way journalists stand up to professional struggle and social responsibility, it is renowned globally,” the statement reads.
Condemning her comment, the Press Club, Kolkata, hoped that Moitra will withdraw her comment and apologise for the same.
Reacting to this statement, Moitra told The Wire, “I was disappointed with the workers, because while they can tell me anything, they cannot call the press to an internal meeting. So I told them, ‘Why do you call these ‘dui poishar press here’? Someone at a distance recorded it.”
Credit – Local news channels
“The Press Club should maybe look at their abysmally falling standards of members and the miserable state of the paid Godi media before wasting time issuing statements against me,” she further told The Wire.
Sharing a meme on Twitter based on her barb directed at the press, Moitra posted an image that says “I apologize for the mean, accurate, things I said.” She captioned the picture by saying, “My meme-editing skills are improving!”
Taking offence to the comment against journalists, local news channel Zee 24 Ghanta, which is the Zee Media’s Bengali news channel, announced their decision to boycott Moitra until she tenders an unconditional apology.
We boycott Mahua Maitrahttps://t.co/uzcEzQeYeK
— Moupia Nandy (@MoupiaNandy) December 8, 2020
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is the primary opposition party in West Bengal, also shared the video on Twitter where Moitra can be heard making the statement. “Outrageous choice of words by Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra. Shows her scant regard for the 4th pillar of Democracy!” the tweet read.