The Prasar Bharati Board will soon see new members. Among them may be actor Kajol, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s media advisor Ashok Tandon, singer Anup Jalota, and journalist Minhaz Merchant.
Sources in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting told HT that these names have been cleared by the Intelligence Bureau and forwarded to the Vice President’s Office. The V-P will now convene a meeting with I&B secretary Bimal Jhulka and Chairman of the Press Council Justice CK Prasad.
Ministry officials said that all four deserved the position by virtue of their merit. But the direct or indirect connections with the BJP were hard to miss.
Jalota belongs to a family that has been a Sangh Parivar loyalist, with an older relative, the late Ashwini Kumar, being a long-time Rajya Sabha MP and Bihar state chief of BJP. Merchant has been an avid supporter of PM Narendra Modi while Tandon was in Vajpayee’s team.
Kajol’s husband, actor Ajay Devgan, had hosted a Google Hangout with Modi when he was still Gujarat CM and in the early stages of his campaign.