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Monday, June 5, 2023

Maha Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik says journalists asked govt to slow down tests

Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik made a bizarre statement on a news channel stating that journalists had asked the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government to reduce testing as a higher number of cases were damaging the state government’s reputation.

Nawab Malik was speaking to Hindi news channel Aaj Tak when he made the statement. Malik said, “initially when we were increasing the number of Covid-19 tests, many journalist friends of ours called us to say that we must reduce the number of tests as a higher number of Corona positive cases were damaging the reputation of the government.”

This not only indicates how serious the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government is about the pandemic situation in the state but also shows how journalists are more concerned about the ‘image’ of the state government. Important questions that must be raised here are whether the government should be concerned about the health of its citizens or its image and reputation.

Also, the role of the media is to report the occurrences in the country and not be concerned with the ‘image and reputation’ of any government. Most importantly, should government policies and actions be dictated by what journalists think and/or say?

No wonder, Marathi media in particular has been resorting to pitting Maharashtra and Gujarat against each other in a bid to cover up for the Thackeray-led MVA government. Earlier, ABP Mazha was caught peddling fake news by grossly understating the number of vaccine doses supplied to Maharashtra by the Center, almost the entire Marathi media has resorted to putting out misinformation by suggesting that Maharashtra is being discriminated against by PM Modi-led Central Government.

Maharashtra happens to be one of the worst-performing states as far as pandemic management is concerned and its Cabinet Minister Malik says on television that ‘friendly journalists’ asked the MVA government to go slow on tests in order to salvage the state government’s image.

Not surprisingly, the MVA government is more interested in its PR and image management than keeping up its promises and looking after the welfare of the state’s citizenry. Malik and his cabinet colleagues including CM Uddhav Thackeray would do well to correct their failures before they get pulled up by the judiciary again.

(Featured Image Source: ANI)

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