Kolkata: English dailies or high circulation Bengali ones will no longer be available in state-sponsored and aided libraries in West Bengal, according to an official circular.
The circular specified eight newspapers which it said would significantly contribute to the development and spread of free thinking among the library users.
Listing the eight newspapers published in Bengali Hindi and Urdu, the Department of Mass Education, Extension and Library Services, in a circular dated March 14, said, "the purchase of newspapers/dailies by the public libraries in the state shall be restricted to only the newspapers/dailies shown in the (list).
"It is felt that the newspapers/dailes, as named in the table, will, besides promoting language, particularly among the rural masses, significantly contribute to the development and spread of free thinking among the members," it said.
The circular said no government fund will be spent for purchase of any newspaper or daily published or purported to be published by any political party in any public library in the state.
Interestingly, the Congress which is an ally of the Trinamool Congress in the state, took up the issue inside the House with senior party member Asit Mitra describing the circular as undemocratic.
Raising the matter during the Calling Attention time, Mitra said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said on many occasions that the media had a right to take its own views on a matter.
He requested the chief minister to have the circular withdrawn.