Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday raised questions over ‘selective and excessive’ advertising by a state governments and wondered if it amounts to ‘political bribery’-  a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party government."So while the power of selective and excessive advertising is used, I raise a question - will such advertising become political bribery or political incentive?" he asked.

 

Jaitley, who holds the Finance and I&B portfolios, did not name any party but his remarks come at a time when the BJP has been attacking the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi over its advertisement budget.

 

Speaking at an event organised by RSS linked Inderprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra (IVSK) in Delhi, Jaitley further said that he used to feel that the ‘era of censorship or pinching pockets had ended’, but the first symptoms of a new method are being witnessed in the country."And those people, who are critics of the ideology which I support, their stunning silence is most eloquent," Jaitley added.

 

Referring to the Constituent Assembly, he said the two media personalities in it - Ramnath Goenka and D B Gupta –had emphasised on aspects related to the need to preserve commercial independence of media.

 

The Finance Minister, however, also said that the idea of any curbs on the freedom of media has been rejected by society and in this age, because of technology, this is not even possible. "If the Emergency, instead of 1975, had been brought in 2016, technology itself would have defeated it," he said