Bhagwat interview row: Congress stages protest demanding Javadekar's resignation

Scores of Congress workers and leaders on Sunday held a protest here demanding immediate resignation of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar accusing him of forcing Doordarshan to go for live telecast of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech from Nagpur two days ago.

PTI| Updated: Oct 05, 2014, 19:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Scores of Congress workers and leaders on Sunday held a protest here demanding immediate resignation of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar accusing him of forcing Doordarshan to go for live telecast of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech from Nagpur two days ago.

The Delhi Congress workers led by its chief Arvinder Singh Lovely were detained outside the DPCC office in central Delhi when they tried to carry out a procession towards Doordarshan office at Mandi House.

"The government has been influencing Doordarsan to propagate RSS' agenda of saffronisation. The Congress party will not tolerate this and we demand resignation of I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar," Lovely said addressing the protesters.

Mounting a direct attack on the BJP, he said the whole country knows that the RSS is an organisation which has always got enmeshed in controversies in its bid to spread communalism.

He said the direct telecast of the speech by RSS chief Mohan Bhagat has hurt the sentiments of people who strongly uphold the principles of secularism.

The live telecast of Bhagwat's address in Nagpur on October 3 by Doordarshan stoked a controversy with almost all major opposition parties accusing the government of "misusing" the state broadcaster while BJP defended it.

Lovely also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise to the people of the country on this matter. He said such an "unconstitutional incident had happened in the country for the first time, which would not be tolerated by the Congress Party at any cost."

Chief spokesperson of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma said RSS was a controversial religious and political organisation and showing Bhagwat's address live on Doordarshan was not at all acceptable.

"Congress will not allow the government to be run from Nagpur," he said. The protesters also burnt an effigy.

Dismissing criticism over the issue, Javadekar had said that Prasar Bharati, which controls Doordarshan, takes its own decisions. He maintained that it was a "newsworthy" event covered by private channels too.

Lovely also questioned the silence of Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on this issue and alleged that he appeared to be in full agreement with the BJP on the matter.