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Congress distances itself from Meenakshi Natarajan's media bill

May 01, 2012 16:50 IST

The Congress on Tuesday distanced itself from a private member's bill tabled by party Member of Parliament Meenakshi Natarajan, saying it contained her personal views.

"The bill was based on her (Natarajan's) views.  These are not the views of Rahul Gandhi.  Neither are these his views or nor has she got his consent to this bill," Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said.

Dwivedi's clarification comes in the wake of media reports that Natarajan was going to introduce the  Print and Electronic Media Standards and Regulation Bill, 2012 in Lok Sabha.

The bill provides among others things for a regulatory authority with sweeping powers including a ban or suspending coverage of an event or incident that may pose a threat to national security from foreign or internal sources. It even provides for a fine of up to Rs. 50 lakh, suspension of a media organisation's licence for up to 11 months and cancellation in some cases.

Natarajan, a first-time MP representing Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, is an All India Congress Committee Secretary and a member of Rahul Gandhi's core team of youth leaders.

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