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|April 4, 2001||
Selection solutions for National Award jury
The controversy over the National Film Awards was raised at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Communications with some members suggesting that proper guidelines be laid down for selection of the Jury.
The Committee, which met under the Chairmanship of Somnath Chatterjee to discuss the budgetary provisions for the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, felt it was unfortunate that the prestigious awards had been tainted by such a controversy.
Some members are said to have expressed their disapproval over the procedure and sought to know on what grounds some members of the feature film jury were selected.
According to sources, certain members also expressed the view that the Information & Broadcasting Ministry was trying to "whitewash" the entire issue.
A major controversy had broken out over the awards last week as three members of the Jury walked out, alleging "Saffronisation and nepotism" in the panel comprising, among others Tarun Vijay, Editor of Panchjanya, Nivedita Pradhan, a BJP MLA from Orissa and Parvati Indusekhar, a supporter of Sushma Swaraj from Bellary. The jury was chaired by Vyjayanthimala Bali, who had quit Congress and joined BJP.
However, Information & Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj refuted the charges two days later, saying they were "baseless, malicious and false".
Among those who attended the Committee meeting were Pawan Bansal, Balkavi Bairagi, Karia Munda and Shatrughan Sinha.
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