Prasar Bharti: Manish Tewari defends govt after CEO seeks autonomy

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Prasar Bharti: Tewari defends govt
New Delhi, May 3: Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Saturday defended the UPA government saying there was no interference in the functioning of the Prasar Bharti, which manages national broadcaster Doordarshan, and countered that there was concern about the freedom of press in Gujarat.

A massive political fight broke out between the Congress and the BJP after the Doordarshan edited parts of an interview that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had given to one of its journalists a few days ago. Modi's office later released the unedited version of the interview which showed the portions that were edited, fuelling a big political fight.

[Doordarshan struggling to maintain autonomy: Modi]

[Broadcasting ministry at arm's-length from Prasar Bharati: Tewari]

One such edited part showed Modi saying that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was once a very close friend of him. Also omitted were Modi's remarks on Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi. He said he understood Priyanka's responsibility of defending her husband, mother and brother.

Manish Tewari countered, saying freedom of press in Gujarat raises a concern

The controversy snowballed after Jawhar Sircar, the head of Prasar Bharti, sought more autonomy in writing and also alleged that the the "young minister" denied greater autonomy to the state broadcaster. The Congress rubbished the allegations, saying Sircar should have raised the issue earlier. Sources in Doordarshan said the interview was edited because of technical reasons and not due to any political interference.

Prasar Bharti is an autonomous body which was created by an act of the Parliament that runs the Doordarshan and All India Radio.

Oneindia News

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