MAHARASHTRA: After threatening to "crush" the electronic media, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde did a U-turn, claiming he was referring to the social media and not journalists.
Shinde had stoked a controversy on Sunday evening by threatening to "crush" the electronic media, alleging a section of it was unnecessarily provoking the Congress by indulging in "false propaganda" against it.
The outburst by Shinde, a Congress leader who hails from Maharashtra's Solapur district, came at a Youth Congress event.
Shinde, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Solapur, alleged that since the last four months a section of the electronic media was "manipulating" news about him and his party.
The video footage of his remarks along with his clarification were aired by news channels."What is happening in the electronic media largely I am aware of it. In the last four months there have been efforts by the media to provoke us (Congress). We will crush such elements in the electronic media, which are indulging in false propaganda, if it did not stop" he said.
The home minister also left no one guessing when he said that he had got inputs from intelligence agencies about a section of the media.
"I have the intelligence department under me. I know who is doing such things. I know what is happening. Some forces are behind this," he added but did not elaborate.
Shinde's remarks came against the backdrop of a series of opinion polls in the national and regional media which predicted a poor showing for the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls while forecasting a big win for BJP under Narendra Modi.
Urging the media to focus on positive stories, which will be welcomed by the people, Shinde said the people of the country will not accept those dividing the country by disturbing society.