Punjab assembly speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal has agreed to the demand of the opposition Congress not to allow PTC, a private channel reportedly owned by the ruling Badal family, to telecast proceedings of the budget session.
Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar had on Thursday met Atwal demanding that only Doordarshan be allowed to telecast the proceedings of the House.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Jakhar had alleged that PTC only showed what “favoured” the government. “What the opposition says is totally blanked out while the barbs and address of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his ministers are shown repeatedly. This kind of skewed coverage of the House proceedings does not convey the true picture to the people of Punjab, who have a right to know what was said by both sides. We would meet assembly speaker Atwal to demand a level-playing field,” Jakhar had said.
Though Atwal did not agree to the Congress demand of handing over the telecast rights to Doordarshan, he has consented not to let PTC cover the House proceedings.
“Congress MLAs led by Sunil Jakhar met me and demanded that PTC should not cover the assembly proceedings. I have accepted their demand. No channel will be allowed to telecast the House proceedings this session,” Atwal told HT. On whether he would consider the opposition’s demand to allow Doordarshan to cover the assembly, Atwal said a final decision will be taken later.
Some private channels which had telecast rights of Punjab assembly were banned in the recent months for allegedly telecasting expunged words and proceedings.
However, the opposition contends that it was done to give the PTC a monopoly over the telecast rights to suit the interests of the ruling party.