For a change Pinarayi Vijayan turns media friendly

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Kerala (Telugu Bullet)  With the April 6 Assembly polls approaching fast, Pinarayi Vijayan nowadays appears to be easily available to the media in contrast to his earlier image of being one of the most inaccessible Chiefs Ministers in Kerala.

All those who have been following Vijayan, right from the time he assumed office in May 2016, he went into the record books by becoming the first Chief Minister of the state to cancel the weekly post-cabinet media briefing, and he made it crystal clear that he will speak only when he wanted to and not when the media sought him.

Then came his classic act of chasing away the media by literally shouting, “Kadeku purethu” (get out) when the media came to cover a peace meeting in the state capital.

However, this tough posture against the media at times came in handy for even the media-friendly Congress-led UDF top leaders, who used to taunt the media and escape replying by saying: “Why don’t you ask like this to Vijayan. All know you are afraid of him.”

A media critic on the condition of anonymity said Vijayan has always been like this and whenever he needs the support of the media, he is liberal in giving interviews.

“Even though Vijayan and his team are claiming that they would become the first government to retain power, they have sensed that things are not rosy as they think, and hence this is the latest game plan of the Vijayan think-tank to reach out to the media as quickly and be as polite as possible. Just ahead of the 2016 Assembly polls, also his PR team was chasing the media and was giving interviews at will during the course of his statewide Yatra then. For the media, memory is short-lived and for them, it’s only the TRP that matters and that’s also known to Vijayan, and hence he is the winner,” said the critic, who did not wish to be identified.

Incidentally, on Sunday, an agitated Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the government was influencing the media by giving advertisements worth crores of rupees.

“The recent pre-poll surveys appear to be heavily biased towards the Left and the media have been campaigning against the Congress-led UDF. The government has spent by now Rs 200 crore for advertisements. In a democracy, the opposition also has to be given time and space by the media and none should forget that the Vijayan government had to backtrack on a number of schemes, after we raised strong objections. The same company has partnered with three different media organizations to do the pre-poll survey and it should also be noted that the Vijayan government has given advertisements to newspapers in Gujarat also,” said Chennithala.

With two more weeks left for the polls, the Congress-led opposition is leaving nothing to chance and starting Monday, they feel that with the arrival of Rahul Gandhi and later Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, things will definitely change for the better.

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