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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Modi interview: Prasar Bharati ready to hold probe

PTI  New Delhi, May 05, 2014
First Published: 22:43 IST(5/5/2014) | Last Updated: 22:47 IST(5/5/2014)

Prasar Bharati is ready to institute a probe into the controversial editing of Narendra Modi's interview by Doordarshan but will do so only if the information and broadcasting ministry assures that it would abide by the findings.

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Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar on Monday said the I&B ministry needs to give assurance about abiding by the findings as it has not been done in the past.

Prasar Bharati has no control over the senior officials in the News Divisions and ministry has in the past not honoured its earlier recommendations, he told PTI.

When contacted, a senior I&B ministry official said the ministry would respond appropriately after it receives and studies any such communication sent by the public broadcaster.

"As Prasar Bharati's several earlier recommendations on Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) news wings have not been honoured by ministry, leading to complications, we have asked MIB to tell us clearly whether they would abide by a neutral enquiry or not," Sircar said.

 He also suggested that instead of an inquiry by officials, the public broadcaster could ask external professionals to do the job.

"Not only has the Prasar Bharati no control over the top officials in news, the ministry has refused to part with even operational supervision. So let the ministry assure us first and we'll set up a fair inquiry by external professionals, not officials," Sircar said.

Doordarshan had on April 26 interviewed BJP's prime ministerial candidate Modi at Gandhinagar and then telecast it the next day.

However, remarks made by Modi on Priyanka Gandhi and his claims of having been friends with senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel were edited out by DD, but became public through the social media, triggering a row.

Sircar had himself written a letter to Prasar Bharati board members, saying that following the interview, questions had been raised about the "impartiality" of the public broadcaster.

DD News which had telecast the interview, however, maintained that "there was no deliberate editing or omission of any portion of the interview." "Wherever editing was done was for technical reasons and during post production. There was no interference or control from any authority in the entire process," it had said in a statement.


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