Kolkata: West Bengal government’s decision to ban English dailies at state-sponsored and aided libraries in the state has drawn widespread criticism from all section of the society including several political parties. The government, however, will make available only eight selected vernacular newspapers to the readers.

Strongly condemning Mamata’s move, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on Sunday demanded that the West Bengal government should immediately revoke the banning order. Terming the WB government’s  move as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘against the law,’ Javadekar said, “Freedom should be given to the readers. Government can’t decide what people should read.”

Among the newspapers which have been barred from the state-funded libraries is the largest circulated Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika, Bengali dailies Bartamaan and Aajkaal, and leading English newspapers The Telegraph, The Times of India, The Statesman and Hindustan Times. In fact, none of the English dailies feature in the list of newspapers permitted.

Javadekar also alleged that the state government wants to show how much power it can wield therefore, it wants to prove that it can do whatever it wants to. According to Mamata, the decision would promote free thinking among readers.