BJP leaders allegedly barred journalists from attending a press conference by Nirmala Sitharaman in Telangana on Saturday. They reportedly told journalists from T News, Telangana Today and Namaste Telangana to leave shortly before the union finance minister was scheduled to speak at the BJP’s office in Nampally.
Sitharaman’s visit to fair price shops in the state’s Kamareddy district on Friday caused controversy after she reprimanded the collector, Jitesh V Patil, for being unable to answer how much of the rice supplied through fair price shops came from the central government and how much from the state government. She had also asked him why the fair price shops did not display pictures of prime minister Narendra Modi.
Sitharaman addressed the controversy at Saturday's press conference, Coreena Enet Suares, editor of the regional news platform , reported. “My language to the collector was not objectionable or unparliamentary,” Suares quoted the minister as saying.
A video of Sitharaman reprimanding Patil went viral, following which several Telangana ministers criticised her. One of them, KT Rama Rao, slammed the union minister again on Saturday and said the BJP should thank Telangana for the tax it pays to the central government.