While opposition BJP condemned the ‘undemocratic’ language used by Rao at a function yesterday in Warangal, Congress said the Chief Minister had "no clue about governance" and reminded him of the duty to safeguard media freedom.
    
However, Rao's daughter and Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP K Kavita said the chief minister's comments about the media should not be seen in isolation as the TV channels which have been blocked were ‘demeaning the legislative system of Telangana’.
    
"In Warangal on Tuesday, he (Rao) used undemocratic language. No Chief Minister can use this type of language. BJP condemns KCR's statement. Nobody can take law and order into their hands. KCR is threatening the media, he is attacking mediapersons. He is threatening reporters and media managements... 'If you don't support TRS, we will see your end, we will close your channels, we will close your media', He is doing that," Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy told reporters.
    
Reddy said he would take up the matter with Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar when he visits the state on Thursday.
    
"If anybody tries to denigrate or hurt the self-respect of Telangana, Telangana Assembly, Telangana culture... we will break their necks. Be careful. Beware or else we will bury you 10km (under the earth)," KCR had said.
    
"We will not allow media to play games. If you do more, you will face more. I am telling you as the chief minister; if you want to stay and live here, salute us and stay. Respect our Telangana people and stay here," he had said.
    
KCR's statement follows the blocking by the Association of Telangana Multiple System Operators (cable TV operators) of the transmission of TV channels ABN Andhra Jyothi and TV9 since June 16, alleging that they had aired programmes "denigrating the Telangana dialect, sentiment and hurting the feelings" of the people of the state.

Rao's comments drew a sharp reaction from senior Congress leader and former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury, who charged that the chief minister "has a false sense of grandeur and no clue about governance".
    
"The media is supposed to be the watchdog of democracy and not the lapdog of the government. Governments have to factor in media criticism and take it in their stride, there is no point in getting angsty and shooting from the hip. In a democracy, it is appropriate that political people should stand up and safeguard media freedom rather than undermine it," said Congress spokesman Manish Tewary.
    
K Kavita, however, defended her father saying the blocked TV channels had not criticised the Telangana government or its chief minister but "demeaned" the state legislature.
    
"They were completely demeaning the entire legislative system of Telengana. In fact, it was a mockery of the Constitution. They were using such bad words about MLAs who were taking oath on Day I,’ Kavita said, apparently hinting at the regional divide over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
    
"Nara Chandrababu Naidu had banned two TV channels from entering the TDP office. Why were my journalist friends silent then?" Kavita asked.
    
Meanwhile, tension prevailed on Wednesday outside Raj Bhavan after some protesting journalists of TV9 and Andhra Jyothy were taken into preventive custody by police as they demanded Governor ESL Narasimhan's intervention in the issue.
    
Journalists with black cloth tied over their mouths and holding placards with slogans like 'Don't kill media in Telangana' and 'Governor Saab, please wake up' tried to hold a sit-in in front of Raj Bhavan but were thwarted by police.
    
"We were trying to give a memorandum to the Governor to seek his immediate intervention. We were brutally lifted and packed into police vans," said a TV9 journalist.
    
Some employees of the two channels had shown placards to KCR at his Warangal function yesterday, demanding lifting of the ban, following which about 25 of them were detained by police before being later released.

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