Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has come under fire from media persons and the opposition for slapping the Dalit Act on reporters of a national TV channel for a news report on how a starving Dalit sold off his wife in the poverty-hit Bundelkhand region of the state.
The Uttar Pradesh Accredited Press Correspondents Committee has vehemently condemned the government’s move to haul the IBN-7 channel and its scribes over the stringent provisions of the Dalit Act.
Samajwadi Party president and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav termed the move as draconian and anti-democratic.
“What the TV channel reported was harsh reality and the media must have the freedom to show the truth in a democracy,” Mulayam Singh told reporters here.
He added, “But through her vindictive action, she has proved that she does not believe in democratic values at all and instead her intent was to intimidate the media so that it remains under her thumb.”
Mulayam Singh said: “I challenge her to take action against me as I still maintain that the Dalit woman was sold away so that her family could get four square meals.”
He also flayed the state Women’s Commission for “manipulating facts in its bid to disprove the report”.
The Women’s Commission that took the lead in contradicting the TV expose is headed by the sister of Mayawati’s blue-eyed lieutenant Satish Chandra Misra, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’s Brahmin mascot.