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Prasar Bharati writes to Information and Broadcasting Ministry regarding Narendra Modi's Doordarshan interview

Sunday, 11 May 2014 - 1:26pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has again sought an assurance from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that its reccommendations would not be ignored if an inquiry is held into the controversial editing of Doordarshan's Narendra Modi interview.

Sources said that Prasar Bharati's Principal Advisor VAM Hussain has written a letter to I&B Secretary Bimal Julka in which he has cited several instances where Prasar Bharati's requests were turned down or kept pending by the government.

Referring to these instances, the senior Prasar Bharati official said that it is because of these "historical reasons" that an assurance is needed "so that well-meaning action would not result in public humiliation".

This is the second time that the public broadcaster has written to the I&B Ministry seeking an assurance.

Doordarshan had on April 26 interviewed BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate at Gandhinagar and then telecast it the next day.

However, remarks made by Modi on Priyanka Gandhi and his claims of proximity with Congress leader Ahmed Patel were edited out by DD, but that became public through the social media, triggering a row.

Following the controversy, Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar wrote to the I&B Ministry, saying Prasar Bharati had no control over top officials in News wings of DD and AIR so the ministry should tell clearly whether it would abide by a "neutral" enquiry.

The I&B Ministry had then suggested that Prasar Bharati should seek the views of its board on whether an inquiry is needed. Apparently not satisfied with the ministry's stance, the public broadcaster has reiterated its demand.

"The fundamental question is that until the ministry satisfies the Board of Prasar Bharati that in this instant case, MIB would not ignore PB's recommendation, PB would not be in a position to simply 'mark time' and be dishonoured by calling for a public enquiry into a controversial matter, and then be held responsible for its inability to take action in terms of this enquiry," Hussain said in the letter. 


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