Shillong | February 23, 2018
Poll bound Meghalaya is on a spree these days. With just 3 days to go for the election, politicians are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters as well as media people by holding daily press conferences with the press fraternity, rallying door-to-door in localities and taking up people’s grievances like never before. While politicians are expected to be media friendly at this crucial juncture where one’s act can make or break the image of a party, it seems some politicians, instead of campaigning are on a holiday spree to the Scotland of the East, Shillong!
Well everyone knows Shillong is a hill station and its scenic beauty is incomparable. Of late, several star campaigners of different political parties have visited Shillong but it should be noted, however, that in the name of campaigning, some ‘star campaigners’ seems to be holidaying in Shillong with family as they seek ‘free space’ when candidates are working round the clock to reach out to their electorates.
High profile visits have definitely led to bookings in many resorts and city hotels as a hotel staff says, “In last few days, we have seen lot of people coming and staying here, yes sometimes with their family.”
However, it is one thing to have free space in a hotel but another to demand it when you are socializing around media people. A certain star campaigner on his visit to Shillong yesterday demanded personal space with family when approached by a regional media to be interviewed.
“I gave live interview to a National Channel and will be giving another live interview to another channel in a while. But, in between I need personal space with my wife,” said a furious star campaigner when approached by a journalist of a regional media house for his time.
While in Meghalaya, it is evident that the press fraternity from the local media houses would ask some amount of time from any star campaigner, given the fact that elections are at the door and each campaigner has a story as well as a message to pass. But it is very sad to see how, even in the local ground, only selected media houses are given due importance while arrogance is what the poor local media houses get for waiting till late night in the winter February chill.
When asked about the treatment meted out by this campaigner, a youth leader of a certain political party on condition of anonymity said, “Big people have big story to share but we can see what type of campaign they are doing. Real politics will be played only post election.”
Another journalist said, “This is very bad. If they do not want to be interviewed by local media, then they should go and campaign in mainland India and not here. What is the meaning of ‘free space’ when you are around media persons?”, she asked.
It may be mentioned that the campaigning for Meghalaya election will come to an end on Sunday evening as only three days are left for campaigning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor are few among many who have visited Meghalaya as star campaigners taking the level of campaigning to a new high.
By a Contributor