Worry about press freedom in Gujarat: Manish Tewari to Narendra Modi

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday joined the issue with BJP`s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi over the controversy concerning Doordarshan editing out portions of the latter`s interview, and said his ministry played no role in the alleged `censorship`.

Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal

New Delhi: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday joined the issue with BJP`s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi over the controversy concerning Doordarshan editing out portions of the latter`s interview, and said his ministry played no role in the alleged `censorship`.

“I&B Ministry has an arms length relationship with Prasar Bharti,” Tewari said.

Prasar Bharti is a semi-autonomous organisation which, under an Act of Parliament, controls state broadcaster Doordarshan and All India Radio.
The minister added “autonomy of Prasar Bharti is guaranteed by an Act of Parliament”.

“It was on my initiative that the Sam Pitroda committee was constituted; one of its terms was looking at the government-Prasar Bharti relationship,” Tewari pointed out.

He also slammed Modi for saying editing out of certain portions of his interview amounted to suppression of the freedom of the press.
“If the Gujarat chief minister is concerned about press freedom in Prasar Bharati, we too are concerned about press freedom in Gujarat,” Tewari said.

“In Gujarat, journalists were charged with sedition, were barred from entering the Assembly, and complained of harassment,” he added.

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