While the Shiv Sena had targeted private FM channels, the other Sena—the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)—plans to target cable operators in the city.
Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday had demanded that private FM channels play Marathi songs. The MNS has endorsed this and gone a step further asking cable operators to ensure that Marathi channels are among the first ten channels on their subscribers’ TV sets.
Vagheesh Saraswat, vice-president of MNS told Hindustan Times that this demand was justified. “In every other state, local language channels set on priority basis, which is not the case here. We just want to ensure this,” Saraswat said. He said when the MNS met leading cable operators in May, the operators had demanded at least three months to implement this. Saraswat was confident that the change would take place soon. “When Raj Thackeray gives a call, do you think anyone can defy him?” he asked.
Two years ago, the MNS chief had taken up this issue for a Marathi channel, which was set up by a leading media group. The Sena, meanwhile, has taken up the issue of Marathi songs on FM channels in a big way. Bal Thackeray in his editorial in Saamna said the betrayal of Marathi language will not be tolerated.