Kohima, February 24 (MTNews): The Kohima Press Club (KPC) has expressed concern at what it called the indifferent attitude of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) toward journalists. On February 18 last, the Kohima Press Club had written to the top brass of the state BJP, as well as the BJP National Spokesperson and in charge of Nagaland state, Nalin S Kohli regarding the uncouth behaviour and cyber bullying of journalists by the Nagaland BJP’s media convenor Sapralu Nyekha. But, KPC said, the BJP has failed to respond till date.
“On Feb 18, the BJP Nagaland media cell convenor Nyekha had resorted to unwarranted aggression and unprofessional behaviour when three journalists interacting with her in the “Press 4 BJP Nagaland” WhatsApp group drew her attention to a piece of misinformation regarding the visit of a Union Minister to Nagaland. At least two leading newspapers in Nagaland which used the communiqué from the state BJP media cell ended up publishing factually inaccurate news. When Nyekha displayed ignorance about the misinformation, one of the journalists asked her to stay updated about her party’s activities and ensure that all press statements are cross checked by the BJP Nagaland media cell. Nyekha responded to the suggestion with extreme aggression and called the journalists engaged in the conversation to fight,” KPC narrated.
Concerned over the development, the KPC wrote to the state BJP leadership asking for clarification on the behaviour of the party functionary, and attached screenshots of the conversation to the party leaders. “Despite this, Nyekha launched an unrelenting personal attack, singling out one particular journalist, Emilo K Konyak, senior correspondent of Nagaland Post even the following day amplifying a false narrative to the point of even saying the journalist is seeking limelight at her expense as it is election time. Instead of accepting her mistake, Nyekha continued the online harassment in an attempt to malign the character of the concerned journalist,” KPC stated.
KPC went on to say that the state BJP leadership’s silence on the issue is an indication that the national party condones such unprofessional and loutish behaviour of its party functionaries while dealing with the members of the Fourth Estate. It also shows that the BJP is apparently indifferent to the dissemination of wrong information about the Party’s activities by its media cell.
The Kohima Press Club further condemned the cyber bullying by state BJP media cell convener Nyekha on journalists and demanded that she publicly apologise to the press fraternity. “If otherwise the BJP feels that the behaviour of its media cell convenor is justified, we ask the party to make public its response. We can further provide evidence of cyber bullying by making public the screenshots of Nyekha’s tirade on WhatsApp groups,” KPC said.
Members of the Kohima Press Club who are irked by the BJP indifference have so far maintained professional dignity, not seeking to take advantage of the situation and continued reporting the BJP’s political activities, KPC said.
Despite that, the Nagaland BJP including its National Spokesperson seems highly reluctant to address the wrongdoing of its functionary. This implies that the national party has no regard for the press fraternity of Nagaland, KPC observed.