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Murdoch to meet PM, Sonia on Tuesday

March 21, 2005 22:57 IST

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Tuesday during his two-day visit to New Delhi.

Murdoch, who is accompanied by Star TV Chief Executive Officer Michelle Guthrie, arrived in Mumbai on Saturday from Beijing to review Star Group's operations and new projects, including its Direct-to-Home service.

He will also meet Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Commerce Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday. He is also expected to call on Leader of Opposition Lal Kishenchand Advani during his stay in Delhi

Murdoch is expected to rake up the issue of Space TV, the DTH service proposed by Star in partnership with Tata. The I&B Ministry had sent the proposal to the Company Affairs Ministry early this month.

During his meetings with top government functionaries, the chairman of News Corp is expected to seek expeditious clearance for the DTH service. The Rs 1,600-crore project is awaiting clearance for well over a year now.

The government had sought clarifications from the two partners on the proposed management structure and other issues in the new venture.

In a bid to get the proposal cleared expeditiously, Star and Tata recently modified their joint venture agreement, including the procedure for appointment of key officials, to comply with conditions put forth by the government.

Murdoch is also scheduled to meet Anand Bazaar Patrika Chief Editor and partner in 'Star News', Aveek Sarkar over dinner.

He has already met Tata officials and content provider Balaji Telefilms' owner and noted actor Jeetendra in Mumbai.


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