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Business News/ Politics / News/  ‘Invite journos for tea’: Maharashtra BJP chief's message to party workers sparks outrage
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‘Invite journos for tea’: Maharashtra BJP chief's message to party workers sparks outrage

Maharashtra BJP chief urges party workers to invite journalists for a ‘cup of tea’ to influence their work.

BJP state unit president Chandrashekhar Bawankule (HT File Photo)Premium
BJP state unit president Chandrashekhar Bawankule (HT File Photo)

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule has gone viral after urging party workers to invite journalists for a ‘cup of tea’ in order to influence their work. The instructions were purportedly given during an address in Ahmednagar with audio clips emerging recently. As Opposition leaders fumed, the BJP leader had issued a issued a clarification insisting that he merely wanted party workers to treat scribes wirh respect.

“Small-time video journalists running news portals and residing in your booth areas sometimes present a minor incident as if some blast has taken place. Prepare a list of such nuisance-creating journalists, including those from the electronic media or print, and invite them for a cup of tea to dhabas so that they would not write anything against us ahead of Maha Vijay 2024. You know what I mean by inviting them for a cup of tea," he added.

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The politician then went on to urge party workers to ‘treat them well and ensure no negative news comes out’. In case of shortcomings, he assured, local BJP MP Sujay Vikhe Patil was also there. 

“There should be positive news about us. Protect your own booths first," he urged.

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Bawankule's remarks have since sparked outrage in the Opposition ranks with many lashing out at the BJP. The politician meanwhile insisted that he had only meant that journalists should be treated with respect and that the party workers should try to understand their opinions about the allocated booths.

“Not all journalists are sold out. Do you think journalists accept crumbs? I can understand the restlessness of your leaders, both of the top level and local ones, as they could not suppress the voice of dissent. But you directly started making offers to journalists? This means, you (BJP) will try to offer some "crumbs" to voters as well ahead of elections…." said Maharashtra opposition leader Vijay Wadettiwar.

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“The Congress has given due importance to journalists but the BJP made them look cheap. It is a devaluation of the media fraternity," added State Congress president Nana Patole.

(With inputs from agencies) 


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Published: 25 Sep 2023, 07:59 PM IST
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