Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge alleges Centre hounding media; Modi government refutes charge

It alleged that a senior executive of a prominent news channel and two other staffers had recently quit due to pressure from the government for airing stories critical of the ruling establishment.

Published: 03rd August 2018 03:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2018 08:49 AM   |  A+A-

Lok Sabha

A view of the Lok Sabha. (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday highlighted the resignations of two senior journalists from a news channel to allege that the NDA government was “intimidating” the media.

His allegation was strongly contested by Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who said the “TRP of the channel is falling and nobody wants to watch it” while denying interference in its functioning.“Two days ago, two leading journalists of the ABP channel were asked to resign. There are a number of incidents of the Centre attempting to gag the media houses, which have been trying to carry stories of reality checks of the claims made by the government.

The fault of the ABP journalists was that they sent their reporter for a reality check of claims made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme,” Kharge said to drive his point home during the debate.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reminded Kharge that the matter involved a private channel. 

But, Kharge persisted and alleged that the reporter of the channel found that the government had asked a woman farmer in Chhattisgarh to claim that her income had doubled. “Much pressure was mounted on the management of the channel and the senior journalists, after the news programme was broadcast. There is an attempt to gag the media by the government,” he asserted.    

In his response, Rathore said the Opposition resorts to blaming the government for anything which happens in the country when it fails to get any issue. “The channel to which Kharge is referring had run a false news programme. Yet, the government didn’t issue a show cause notice. The TRP of the channel is continuously falling. People don’t want to watch the channel,” the Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for information and broadcasting said.

ABP News Network Managing Editor Milind Khandekar an had tweeted about his resignation on August 1. Senior journalist Punya Prasun Bajpai, who anchored a programme, also exited from the Hindi news channel. 


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  • Hiralal

    Look who is calling the kettle black.
    4 years ago reply
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