At a time when the media houses in Andhra Pradesh are virtually divided on political lines, it has become difficult for the readers to believe what is right and what is wrong. On the whole, the divided media houses are exposing the ugly picture of politics.
While one group supporting the Telugu Desam Party has been carrying only negative reports against the YSR Congress party government, the rival group, particularly Sakshi, is highlighting the news to expose the alleged illegal dealings of the TDP when it was in power.
On Saturday, one can see such negative reporting from both the sides.
Notwithstanding the clarification given by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government that it would conduct a special drive to identify the genuine beneficiaries who have been denied ration cards, the anti-government dailies carried banner stories saying that lakhs of ration cards have been weeded out in the state.
Eenadu’s banner story said 18.72 lakh ration cards have been removed in the state with Nellore accounting for largest number of losers, Andhra Jyothy put the figure at 20 lakhs. Obviously, the objective of both the papers is to spread a negative message among the people against the YSRC government.
On the other hand, Sakshi carried a banner story on how the Income Tax raids on several individuals and companies close to TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh. It directly said “boss of commissions” (read Chandrababu Naidu) has fallen in Income Tax net.
While there is no official communication from I-T department, Sakshi firmly believed and conveyed to its readers that all the ill-gotten money identified by the I-T department during the raids had gone into the illegal accounts of Naidu and his son.
Another example of negative reporting is Eenadu’s second lead story on the possibility of the Jagan government taking back 60.29 acres of lands allotted to Reliance Industries at Renigunta near Tirupati for setting up of a heavy industry.
It says the local revenue officials have written to the government to withdraw the land allotment to Reliance, so that it can be distributed among the poor for house sites.
Obviously, this report appears to be a diversion from the Kia Motors controversy, which the TDP has failed to capitalise on, thanks to timely clarifications from the government and also the company higher ups. Sakshi also carried the Kia clarification for the second successive day.
Andhra Jyothy also carried two such negative stories – one on an internal war in Public Transport Department (which was formed after the merger of APSRTC employees with the government) on allowing private buses into the bus depots; and another story on denial of honorarium to Imams and Mouzzans in mosques for the last seven months.
Both the anti-establishment dailies continued with their massive coverage on the agitation by Amaravati farmers, who had taken their issue to New Delhi, meeting all big people and giving representations in their last-ditch efforts to retain the capital city.
Among other reports, the decision of the Jagan government to keep a watch on private schools and colleges which are collecting more than the prescribed tuition fees and take action against such institutions figured prominently in all the three dailies. Perhaps, it is the only positive report that is seen in the media today.