Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao has threatened to bury news channels that insult Telangana personalities and culture with their “crooked coverage”.
The stern warning is aimed at TV9 — a popular Telugu news channel — which has been banned in the region for three months now after it aired a satirical show portraying the then freshly-elected Telangana MLAs in a bad light.
“The channel airing such programmes is not the media for us. We will bury it; bury it 10km inside the earth. I will not spare anyone who vilifies Telangana’s assembly, the state’s personality, its culture and life,” an emotionally charged KCR said on Tuesday at an event in Warangal when confronted by journalists.
Another channel, ABN Andhra Jyothy has also been taken off the air, though for reasons uncertain.
With the Multi System Operators (MSOs) snapping the channels from their signals across the state, the channels can now only be accessed by those with DTH connections.
The channels tried to reconcile the issue with the MSOs and the government but to no avail.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Wednesday condemned the Telangana CM’s remarks. “It cannot be supported by anyone. We have differences with the media, but it is an intrinsic part of Indian democracy... In moments of crisis and distress, we should not react by killing the messenger,” said party spokesperson Salman Khurshid.