The Kohima Press Club (KPC) has expressed deep concern over the indifferent attitude of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) toward journalists, where the media convener of the party had resorted to “unwarranted aggression and unprofessional behaviour” recently.
In a statement, Kohima Press Club reminded that the organization on February 18 had written to the top brass of Nagaland BJP, as well as party’s national spokesperson and in-charge of Nagaland Nalin S Kohli over the “uncouth behaviour and bullying of journalists” by state BJP media convener, but regretted that the party had failed to respond to date.
It said that when the convener displayed ignorance about some misinformation, one of the journalists advised the official to stay updated about the party’s activities and ensure that all press statements were cross checked by the media cell. To this, the officials responded with “extreme aggression” and called the journalists engaged in the conversation to fight, Kohima Press Club stated.
Concerned over the development, Kohima Press Club (KPC) said it wrote to the state BJP leadership seeking clarification on the behaviour of the party functionary, and attached screenshots of the conversation to the party leaders.
Despite this, KPC said the convener launched an “unrelenting personal attack, singling out one particular journalist” even the following day, amplifying a false narrative to the point of even saying the journalist was seeking limelight at her expense as was election time.
“Instead of accepting the mistake, the convener continued online harassment in an attempt to malign the character of the journalist concerned,” the Kohima Press Club said.
According to the press club, the state BJP leadership’s silence on the issue was an indication that the party condoned such unprofessional and loutish behaviour of its party functionaries, while dealing with members of the Fourth Estate. It also showed that the BJP was apparently indifferent to the dissemination of wrong information about its activities by its own media cell.
While condemning the “cyber bullying” of journalists by the state BJP media cell convener, KPC demanded that the BJP media cell convener publicly apologise to the press fraternity.