Panaji, July 16 (IANS) Minutes after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant alleged that Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik had on Thursday criticised the print, television and social media for painting a negative picture of the state’s Covid management efforts, Malik denied making such a statement, besides condemning Sawant’s comments.
Malik said that it was not “civilised” behaviour on the part of Sawant to put words in his mouth, especially when he had made no critique of media reportage at a meeting called at the Raj Bhavan earlier on Thursday to discuss the state government’s Covid-19 management and treatment efforts.
“I have never said anything about media or social media. The truth is that media is our strength. I get information (from the media) about where the shortcomings are. I do not get it from them (goverment); I had called for a meeting on the basis of this information in order to check where corrections can be made,” Malik told reporters at Raj Bhavan, minutes after Sawant’s controversial statement.
“To say this is not right. I cannot condemn in strong words, but it is highly improper. A civilised person should not do this, put words in someone’s mouth, especially when it has not been said. I have been in public life for 50 years, I have never had complaints against the media,” Malik said.
Earlier on Thursday, Sawant after emerging from the review meeting at Raj Bhavan had said that the Governor had criticised ‘incorrect reportage’ and ‘negative comments’ on social media over the government’s Covid-19 management efforts.
“Wrong information is being circulated on social media, so we gave him the right picture. He (Malik) praised the ongoing efforts made by us and said that social media, electronic media and print media are giving the wrong picture,” Sawant told reporters.
Malik, however, said that there were some shortcomings in the state government’s tackling of the issue and added that comorbidity should not be used as an excuse to gloss over a Covid-19 death.
“Comorbiditiy should not be made an excuse for deaths; instead, patients should be provided comprehensive treatment. I have told them this. Deaths are increasing. Numbers are increasing,” Malik said, adding that he had given suggestions to plug the gaps in Covid-19 treatment efforts.
After the Governor’s slamming of Sawant, the Opposition has now trained its guns on the Chief Minister, accusing him of misleading the Constitutional head of the state.
“I strongly condemn the act of the Chief Minister who tried to blame the mainstream media and social media users for exposing the misdeeds of the BJP government. It is shameful on the part of Sawant to falsely drag the name of the Governor to cover-up his own failures as CM,” state Congress President Girish Chodankar said, demanding Sawant’s resignation.