NEW DELHI: It’s now well-known that the Rajya Sabha has become a bug-bear for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Opposition has stonewalled much of his Government’s legislative agenda in the Upper House. Now it seems, the Prime Minister’s Office is none to happy with RS TV — the exclusive news channel devoted to the Upper House.
It seems that the kind of criticism of the government inprogrammes on RS TV, mostly in the form of Opposition MPs appearing on its shows, has upset the PMO.
The latter, a source said, has been keeping a close tab on the performance and programmes of the channel.
Unlike the Lok Sabha TV, which is dependent on government money —through PSU advertisements — the RS TV has evolved an enviable revenue structure by which it has been generating it own resources.
Not just that, it has now decided to produce films relevant to India’s parliamentary history, which it in turn plans to sell to other interested channels. The government in a counter move has since set up a committee to revive the National Film Development Council (NFDC), which used to produce films - often known as parallel cinema - particularly during ndira Gandhi’s regime.
According sources, the Prime Minister’s Office would like to merge the LS and RS TV channels into one, to be managed by a nodal agency, likely to be named Sansad TV.
However, the fact that RS TV is a pet project of Vice President Hamid Ansari who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha has left the BJP-led Government unable to make any moves at the moment or bring its plan to fruition.
It is likely that once Ansari demits office in 2017 and the NDA Government gets the opportunity to elect a Vice President of its choice, the Prime Minister’s Office’s plan would come into effect. Several attempts to get a response from RS TV on the issue was met with silence.