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Education Minister fails to turn up, media boycotts press meet

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, June 19 - Newly appointed Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya today faced the wrath of journalists after he failed to turn up for a press conference even after one hour of the scheduled time. The interaction was later boycotted by mediapersons.

According to an official intimation from the Directorate of Information & Public Relations (DIPR), the Education Minister�s press conference was scheduled for 10.30 am at the Secretariat.

Not just the delay, the minister�s office even failed to intimate the personnel at the Secretariat gate, because of which a number of journalists who went to cover the conference faced undue harassment at the entrance. The journalists were allowed to enter by the securitymen only after prolonged altercations.

When the minister did not arrive till around 11.15 am, some journalists waiting in the cramped conference room of the minister tried to call up his PA, only to learn that the minister was at a �meeting�. None of the staff at the minister�s office bothered to have a word with the waiting journalists, while there was no intimation from DIPR either regarding any rescheduling of the interaction. The minister�s office, too, was clueless about his whereabouts and was unable to communicate any details. The lone DIPR official present at the press conference venue was also not aware of the cause of delay in the minister's arrival.

Around 11.35 am, the fuming journalists decided to walk out of the conference room and boycott the meet.

DIPR Deputy Director PK Dutta rushed to the Secretariat block to do some damage-control, but it went in vain. After walking out, about 10 of the journalists gave a written representation to the CM, through the Press Advisor to the CM, about the incident.

This is not the first time that a BJP leader or a minister has kept the media waiting.

�It has become a regular habit of the ministers to keep journalists waiting. Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary is seldom on time. For that matter, State BJP president Ranjeet Dass, too, is rarely on time when he convenes a press meet. Either their time management is very poor or they do not have any regard for the media,� said a senior journalist.

�If the minister is unable to attend a conference on time, it is the duty of his office or the DIPR to inform the participants. Such things cannot be taken for granted every time. Time is precious for us, too,� he added.

Yesterday, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had apologised after journalists had a tough time covering the ground-breaking ceremony of the 19 cancer hospitals after the media enclosure was occupied by guests wearing �proximity passes�. The utter media mismanagement comes at a time when the BJP has initiated an outreach programme � �Sampark Se Samarthan� � to connect with the masses through meetings with prominent personalities.

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Education Minister fails to turn up, media boycotts press meet

GUWAHATI, June 19 - Newly appointed Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya today faced the wrath of journalists after he failed to turn up for a press conference even after one hour of the scheduled time. The interaction was later boycotted by mediapersons.

According to an official intimation from the Directorate of Information & Public Relations (DIPR), the Education Minister�s press conference was scheduled for 10.30 am at the Secretariat.

Not just the delay, the minister�s office even failed to intimate the personnel at the Secretariat gate, because of which a number of journalists who went to cover the conference faced undue harassment at the entrance. The journalists were allowed to enter by the securitymen only after prolonged altercations.

When the minister did not arrive till around 11.15 am, some journalists waiting in the cramped conference room of the minister tried to call up his PA, only to learn that the minister was at a �meeting�. None of the staff at the minister�s office bothered to have a word with the waiting journalists, while there was no intimation from DIPR either regarding any rescheduling of the interaction. The minister�s office, too, was clueless about his whereabouts and was unable to communicate any details. The lone DIPR official present at the press conference venue was also not aware of the cause of delay in the minister's arrival.

Around 11.35 am, the fuming journalists decided to walk out of the conference room and boycott the meet.

DIPR Deputy Director PK Dutta rushed to the Secretariat block to do some damage-control, but it went in vain. After walking out, about 10 of the journalists gave a written representation to the CM, through the Press Advisor to the CM, about the incident.

This is not the first time that a BJP leader or a minister has kept the media waiting.

�It has become a regular habit of the ministers to keep journalists waiting. Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary is seldom on time. For that matter, State BJP president Ranjeet Dass, too, is rarely on time when he convenes a press meet. Either their time management is very poor or they do not have any regard for the media,� said a senior journalist.

�If the minister is unable to attend a conference on time, it is the duty of his office or the DIPR to inform the participants. Such things cannot be taken for granted every time. Time is precious for us, too,� he added.

Yesterday, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had apologised after journalists had a tough time covering the ground-breaking ceremony of the 19 cancer hospitals after the media enclosure was occupied by guests wearing �proximity passes�. The utter media mismanagement comes at a time when the BJP has initiated an outreach programme � �Sampark Se Samarthan� � to connect with the masses through meetings with prominent personalities.

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