Senior BJP leader and former union minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the Left government in Kerala was hounding the media in the state which was strongly denied by the ruling CPI(M).
Javadekar, in a tweet said the Left party was attacking media houses in Kerala which criticised it and that the BJP will strongly oppose it.
"The CPM had opposed the emergency imposed by the Congress. But now they are doing the same as what Congress did... They are hounding the media houses that criticise them. A situation similar to the state of emergency is prevailing in Kerala," Javadekar said.
However, State Tourism Minister, P A Mohammed Riyas, said that the statement of Javadekar was to hide the witch-hunting of media houses and journalists by the BJP government at the centre.
"Kerala is known for its free and independent media. If you look at Uttar Pradesh, 12 journalists were killed under the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath...138 criminal cases have been registered against the journalists who have been critical of the BJP," Riyas claimed.
At a press conference, he read out the names of 12 journalists including prominent scribes like Naveen Gupta and Rajesh Mishra and said they were killed for reporting against the mafia connected with the BJP.
Riyas also said that the situation was not like that in Kerala.
"We all know why the BJP government conducted ED and Income Tax raids in many news organisations including the BBC, Dainik Jagran and Newsclick. Is that the situation in Kerala where free and independent media prevails?" he said.
The opposition Congress and BJP had raised a protest against the Left government's decision to register a case against a journalist in a case related to SFI state secretary, P M Arsho.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)