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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

The show begins: Didi to roll out television channel

Koushik Dutta, Hindustan Times  Khakurda (Narayangarh), June 28, 2013
First Published: 09:15 IST(28/6/2013) | Last Updated: 09:18 IST(28/6/2013)

Trinamool Congress supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee has come up with a way to answer her detractors.

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Realising that Channel 10, News Time and Kolkata TV are, perhaps, not enough to take on 24 Ghanta, Akash Bangla and ABP Ananda, Mamata said on Thursday that her party is planning to launch its own channel.

The chief minister, who was addressing an election rally at Khakurda in West Midnapore’s Narayangarh, alleged that 24 Ghanta, Akash Bangla and ABP Ananda are run and funded by the CPI(M) and hinted that her party’s channel would counter the attacks on her government.

“Channels such as 24 Ghanta, Akash Bangla and ABP Ananda are trying to malign our party and our government. These are run and funded by CPI(M). These channels are, together with the Opposition, raising a hue and cry over the rape and violence in Bengal. They have no work and do not see the development work that we have done despite an acute financial crisis.” She added that these channels do not cover the attacks and the deaths of Trinamool supporters but show the attacks on the CPM and other Opposition parties. “People who appear in these talk shows are paid to participate in them. They get
Rs 5,000 to Rs. 10,000. The money they get decides what they will say,” Mamata alleged.

This is not the first time the Trinamool chief is attacking a section of the media. In previous rallies, too, she has accused the press of spreading canards against her party. In a recent election campaign in North 24-Parganas after the Kamduni incident, the chief minister had alleged that the Opposition, including CPI(M) and the Congress, is conspiring to kill her and ABP Ananda is involved in the conspiracy. Besides Jago Bangla, a weekly mouthpiece, the Trinamool also has a magazine, Maa-MatiManush, and channels like Channel 10, News Time and Kolkata TV are known to be pro-Trinamool.

Mamata Banerjee added, “Every day these channels are giving false information and now, Trinamool may have to launch a separate channel.” She also conceded that her party had lost the assembly seat owing to an internal feud and she would not tolerate such clashes in the party in future. “If Surya (Surya Atto who had contested against CPM’s Suryakanta Mishra) and Kausar Ali had worked together, that gentleman (Mishra) could not have won the seat. You have to work together and would not fight among yourselves. I will not tolerate such clashes,” she said. In the meeting, which was being held in Mishra’s assembly, she again held the Opposition responsible for the delay of the rural polls.

“There is an unholy nexus between the Congress, CPI(M), BJP and the Maoists to scuttle the elections. They fear they will be defeated. They do not want the panchayat polls to be held. We have been trying to hold the polls since we came to power but the Opposition is going all out to stall the poll process,” she said.


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