IMPHAL, July 22: India is a democratic country and the press has its own freedom. Certain news reports are based on information received from sources. The media is unbiased and has no partiality. House member Agriculture minister should keep the habit of reading newspapers.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh stated during the Assembly sitting today.
Demands for Agriculture and Fishery departments, which are both under Md Abdul Nasir were tabled today under Demand No 17 and 37 respectively.
Raising a motion for disapproval of policy cut during the discussion on the demands, MLA Dr I Ibohalbi had asked why Asem Priyokumar Singh of Kumbi, who had already received a national level award as the best producer of rice, was placed at Serial No 3 in the list for the State Award. Was this the reason behind his not receiving the State award, he asked adding that there were reports on the issue in the local dailies.
In his reply, minister Md Abdul Nasir said it has been six-seven months since he had read the newspapers.
He continued, what could have been easily resolved through dialogue had often been splashed in the newspapers, degrading the image of the newspapers.
He told the House, now he directly approaches the court instead of approaching the newspapers.
Asserting that the media had printed many baseless reports about him in the past, Md Abdul Nasir said it has been long since, he had read a newspaper.
Hearing the minister’s reply, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi stood up from his seat and with a wry smile said, the minister would have known what was being reported if he had read the newspapers.
Even if there was anything condemnable or which need clarification, he would have got the opportunity.
Ibobi said even if a newspaper report had infringed on the member’s privilege, he is entitled to take the matter to the court.
The Chief Minister also added that his advice, not only as the leader of the House, but from the side of the government to the minister, would be to read the newspapers.