Jagan`s channel takes U-turn, re-telecasts story sans Sonia remarks

Sakshi television channel had earlier aired a story critical of Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi.

Last Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 16:12 PM IST

Hyderabad: A day after airing a story
critical of Congress and its chief Sonia Gandhi, Sakshi
television channel owned by Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy
took a U-turn on Sunday, re-telecasting it after deleting adverse
references to her and claiming that it had not targeted her.

Though Sakshi TV announced that the 8.00 am show scheduled
today would be a "re-telecast" of the episode aired on Friday
night (and repeated on Saturday morning), viewers got to see a
version that was totally different from the earlier one.

The anchor-part as well as the voice-over in today`s
story were clearly recorded afresh while all the adverse
remarks against Sonia were deleted. The bold headlines that
criticised Sonia as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too
were dropped. The master title of the programme "Hastagatam"
became "Congress@125" in today`s telecast.

At the same time, Sakshi CEO Priyadarshini Ram said the
story was not against either Gandhi or Singh and maintained
that there was no intervention by Jagamnohan with regard to
the content of the TV channel.

"It was not a story against... either Sonia Gandhi or
Manmohan Singh. It was a current story that was based on the
125 years of the Congress party, how it was faring...

"Jaganmohan Reddy, on the day of the inauguration of this
media house, made one specific statement saying that this
channel would be unbiased, truthful and clear-headed. There is
no effort from Jaganmohan Reddy or intervention by him on the
content of Sakshi television," Ram said.

Sakshi also showed a clipping of the channel`s inaugural
function wherein Jagan sought to assert that his media has
nothing to do with Congress.

"Sakshi is a most balanced and independent media. This
has no affiliation with any political party," Jagan had said.

Highlighting this statement, Sakshi claimed that it
telecast the (Friday`s) episode on Sonia "as an independent
media. Our analysis on Sonia and Congress party was in line
with our independent stance.”

"We never criticised Sonia Gandhi," the channel claimed
late last night even as a host of Congress bigwigs, including
Chief Minister K Rosaiah, former chief minister N Janardhana
Reddy, several state ministers and PCC chief D Srinivas,
strongly condemned the "blasphemous story".

The special story on Friday was telecast to mark the
125th anniversary celebrations of Congress. It had said the
grand old party was on a "rapid degeneration" across the
country and even Sonia herself was facing rough weather in Rae
Bareilly constituency.

PTI