Media management by AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu reached the peak of hypocrisy and nepotism as an eleven member hand chosen team of scribes left for Singapore on a two day, all expenses paid trip.
Supposedly the trip is to bring an awareness of functioning of Singapore systems and procedures that would be evoked in the capital city building and other urban infrastructure in the residual AP. The offer was made to AP journalists when the Singapore envoy Gopalakrishna Pillai and Minister Iswaran came to Hyderabad to sign a MoU that would make it easy to do business with AP last month.
The Media advisor of AP Dr Parakala Prabhakar wrote to select media houses with a request to depute particular reporters only. Most of them were those who covered the TDP beat at NTR Bhavan and were loyal to Chandrababu Naidu. Criteria were that they had not criticized Naidu and also never wrote against TDP.
It may be recalled that the TDP media advisor LV S R K kept a daily account of the number of lines and minutes given to TDP by all newspapers and submitted the same to Chandrababu Naidu. At NTR Bhavan, reporters covering the TDP beat got free lunch and snacks free plus gifts of sweets, dairy and other utensils on festivals, News Year and also Mahanadu. “Pressure cookers, Mixies, TV, laptop, Iphones” were the common gifts of Naidu as per the importance of the daily/channel and their coverage of the TDP.
The list of scribes includes two persons from the national dailies – Times of India , Indian Express and the Hindu, Persons in good books of Naidu were ear marked TV channels critical of Naidu including the NDTV were dropped at last minute .Though the AP government was the official promoter, it was the TDP media office that was the facilitator. Small timer operators like Metro TV (a cable operator) also were included in the tour.
So hats off to the Chandrababu Naidu media management in his second innings, wherein he has not shown any hesitation to weed out the critics. During his first innings Naidu had been accommodative when he took agencies and newspapers to Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and also China. But this time it’s only yes men. In his first innings Naidu gave flats and housing plots to his chosen band. So it would be no wonder if the scribes get flats in the CRDA.