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Modi interview: Ministry asks Prasar CEO to seek board's opinion

May 06, 2014 20:01 IST

Throwing the ball back into Prasar Bharati's court, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Tuesday asked the public broadcaster to seek the views of its board on whether a probe is needed into the controversial editing of Narendra Modi's interview by Doordarshan.

Sources said that the ministry on Tuesday sent a reply to Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar's communication in which he had said on Monday that the public broadcaster was ready to institute a probe but would do so only if the ministry assures that it would abide by the findings.

Sircar had argued that in the past, the ministry had not taken any action on its recommendations against officials.

“We have replied saying that the views of the Prasar Bharati board should be sought on the matter,” a senior I&B ministry official told PTI.

Sircar had earlier said that the Prasar Bharati has no control over the senior officials in the News Divisions of Doordarshan and AIR and that ministry has in the past not honoured its recommendations.

“As Prasar Bharati's several earlier recommendations on Doordarshan and All India Radio news wings have not been honoured by ministry, leading to complications, we have asked MIB to tell us clearly whether they would abide by a neutral enquiry or not,” Sircar had said on Monday.

He had also suggested that the public broadcaster could ask external professionals to do an enquiry into the episode pertaining to Doordarshan's interview of Modi.

Doordarshan had on April 26 interviewed BJP's prime ministerial candidate Modi at Gandhinagar and then telecast it the next day.

However, remarks made by Modi on Priyanka Gandhi and his claims of having been friends with senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel were edited out by DD, but became public through the social media, triggering a row.

Sircar had himself written a letter to Prasar Bharati board members, saying that questions had been raised about the "impartiality" of the public broadcaster.

DD News which had telecast the interview, however, maintained that “there was no deliberate editing or omission of any portion of the interview.”

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