MLA Jitu Patwari’s remark on media creates flutter

Bhopal: The state assembly witnessed chaos on Friday after Congress MLA Jeetu Patwari made indecent remarks during the question hour in the assembly.

State public relations minister Narottam Mishra objected to it and insisted that Patwari should tender an apology to media. “Offending media will not be tolerated,” Mishra said. After this, both the ruling party and opposition traded charges against each other. The Congress party MLAs reached well of the House, which had to be adjourned for 10 minutes.

Patwari alleged that House changed his original question and wanted to know from Speaker Sitasharan Sharma why it was done. The Congress MLA Patwari further said that when he raised the issue of expenses on Narmada Yatra on Thursday, he was told that Rs 18 crore was spent on it.

However, when another Congress MLA Jaiwardhan Singh raised the same issue on Friday, he was told that Rs 21 crore were spent on yatra’s publicity. Later, Patwari told journalists that he had not made any indecent remarks against media. “Rather, I said media persons are harassed a lot in reality.”

During the question hour, Congress MLA Jaiwardhan Singh said that the state government has spent Rs 640 crore on publicity in last four years out of which Rs 140 crore were given to agencies outside the state.

Singh further said while Rs 21 crore were spent on publicity of Narmada Sewa Yatra, Rs 4 crore were spent for media coverage of Bhavantar Bhugtaan Yojana. He said that the government could have launched its own channel with the money it had spent on publicity.

Public relations minister Narottam Mishra said Narmada Yatra was not a personal venture of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan but was meant to save river. Regarding Jaiwardhan Singh’s demand for an inquiry into the matter, Mishra said if he wanted a probe, it would be done.