Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called public broadcaster Prasar Bharti a "Prachar Bharti" of the Congress for perpetually projecting the latter for past ten years and completely wiping out BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from its coverage.
"Prasar Bharti is Congress' "Prachar Bharti." I have been seeing that for the past seven to ten years this has been happening. They have completely blacked out Modi. They only projecting Rahul Gandhi (Congress vice president) and rejecting Modi," said Naidu. "We want to know how much coverage it gave to which party 100 days before the elections. This will make everything clear. They are showing immense bias towards the Congress. The government is misusing Prasar Bharti," he added.
In a letter to the board, Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar claimed the "shadow of government" on Doordarshan's credibility and said that Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari had been ignoring his requests for more autonomy. It was reported on Thursday that Modi during an interview to Doordarshan, had said that Priyanka is 'like his daughter'. The interview had sparked controversy after it was reported that Doordarshan edited out the portion where Modi made this statement.
Sircar said that the controversial deletions of portions of the interview had been left to the discretion of the public broadcaster's news editorial team. The DG News of Doordarshan, in response to the controversy, said: There was no deliberate editing or omission of any portion of the interview. Wherever editing was done, it was for technical reasons and during post production. There was no interference or control from any authority in the entire process. Important portions of the interviews were used in all the important bulletins of Doordarshan News also.' Doordarshan also indicated that the 56 minute interview was edited to fit into a 34 minute slot initially.
The DG News added: "There was no attempt to downplay the interview, rather it was given wide pre-telecast publicity and also repeated the next day, on the 28th April.