Jignesh Mevani, the first time MLA from Gujarat was snubbed by Chennai’s media after he demanded that the microphone of a particular TV channel be removed from his press meet.
Mevani, who was in Chennai for the Hindu Literary Fest on Monday had interacted with students of The Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies on Tuesday. After the students meet he was requested by some TV reporters to answer a few a questions on current issues. “We were planning to ask him about judge Loya case and the revolt of the Supreme Court judges,” said Shabeer Ahmed of Times Now.
When the channels arranged their microphones in front of Mevani he pointed to the Republic TV’s mike and said as a policy he did not talk to Republic TV. The reporters told him this was a general media interaction and not an exclusive interview with Republic TV.
However Mevani was firm that he would not interact with Republic TV, on which the channel’s reporter agreed not to ask any questions and that he can go ahead and reply to questions from others. But Mevani insisted that the channel’s microphone be removed first. This was objected to by other reporters but Mevani refused to budge. Then Shabeer Ahmed told him brusquely that he cannot dictate terms to the media and there was no need for the press meet. This was loudly seconded by others who started removing their mikes after which a miffed Mevani left the venue.
“It was totally unbecoming of a young political leader to behave like this. Even veterans like Karunanidhi and or Jayalalithaa never asked rival channels to keep away from their press meets. If we give in once then any political leader can selectively ask some channels to stay away from their press meets. This is simply not done,” said Shabeer Ahmed.