Charge Marxists ad tariff, Mamata tells electronic media


Kolkata : Mocking the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) of “using” the electronic media to “advertise” their standpoints, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday asked television channels to charge the Marxists the advertising tariff.

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“You should take advertisement rates from them. They now have no work. So their leaders are now always well decked up as they sit before channels to advertise themselves and run campaigns against the government,” a deadpan face Banerjee told media persons at the state secretariat, Writers’ Buildings, amid peels of laughter from journalists present.

“No, I am serious. There is no basis on what they say. They are basically using your prime time to advertise their party and themselves. Once you impose the advertisement fees on them they will stop,” she said.

“You can also allot time to political parties and take advertisement tariff from them as per the duration of the slots used by them,” she said.

Banerjee’s comments came after the CPI-M Thursday held a series of media meets which were well covered by electronic channels.

First, the CPI-M labour arm CITU organised a media interaction to announce a 24-hour transport strike against the recent increase in petrol and diesel fares.

Then Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra spoke to the media after meeting state Education Minister Bratya Basu, and alleged “anarchy” in education under the Trinamool Congress regime.

Finally, former state finance minister Asim Dagupta met media persons at the state party headquarters at Alimuddin Street, reeling off statistics to drive home his assertion that the government was “misleading the people” on its loans and earnings.