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Manish Tewari assures autonomy of Prasar Bharti; accuses Narendra Modi of curbing press freedoms

Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 12:38pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

Addressing the media over the Prasan Bharti issue Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari assured the autonomy of Prasar Bharti, after the Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar on Friday acknowledged, in a letter, that certain portions of the Narenedra Modi interview "were apparently edited".

 "Autonomy of Prasar Bharti is guaranteed by an act of Parliament. I&B ministry has an arms length relationship with Prasar Bharti," he said. 

Sircar had blamed Tewari for failing to grant "operational autonomy" to the public broadcaster that it has been seeking for years. In response, Tewari pointed out, "The Sam Pitroda committee was constituted on my initiative and one of its terms was looking at relations between the government and Prasar Bharti."​

Moving focus away from himself and on to the BJP's priministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Tewari added, "If Gujarat CM is concerned about press freedom in Prasar Bharati, we too are concerned about press freedom in Gujarat." Accusing Modi of suppressing press freedoms, he said, "In Gujarat, journalists were charged with sedition, were barred from entering the assembly, complained of harassment."

The entire controversy came in to lime light following allegations that the Narendra Modi's interview on Doordarshan was "edited". Ashok Shrivastav, the journalist who interviewed Modi on Doordarshan, also reaffirmed the same in a post on twitter: "the original interview was 56 minutes but I got half an hour chunk. (so) We telecast 34 minutes.".

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