The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday drew criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress after it issued a media advisory asking journalists to take quotes for news reports from “authorised spokespersons only”. The party told journalists that anonymous quotes attributed to “sources” will be treated as imaginary and false by the party.
“It has been noticed of late that sections of the media have been attributing quotes to anonymous sources from the Aam Aadmi Party,” the advisory read. “The party takes exception to this and makes it categorically clear that the AAP will contradict and send rejoinders to these anonymous quotes, which are clearly unauthorised.”
“The AAP has a clear policy of authorised spokespersons to talk to the media. Therefore, media friends are requested to take the party’s stand from the authorised spokespersons only,” it added.
The advisory comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections which will be held in the National Capital Territory of Delhi on May 12. The votes will be counted for the seven-phased elections on May 23.
BJP’s Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari said the move was an attempt to muzzle the press and threaten reporters who are unbiased. “Kejriwal has killed democracy in his party, and now is trying to threaten journalists,” Tiwari said on Twitter. “People know their [AAP’s] truth. On May 12, the people will teach them a lesson by grabbing their deposits.”
The Congress also called the AAP’s move autocratic and an attack on democracy. “They [reporters] have have their sources whose sanctity is maintained by them at any cost,” Delhi Congress spokesperson Jitendra Kochar said. “Media is one of the most important pillars of democracy, this move is an attack on democracy. AAP should be ashamed of what it has tried to do.”