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Govt was impartial in taking over MSOs: Jayalalithaa
January 29, 2006 20:35 IST
Dismissing the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham's charge of partiality in the take over of "select cable TV networks" in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Sunday said her government had acted in an impartial manner by taking over the control of the Multiple Service Operators run by her partymen as well.
In a statement in Chennai, she said the Coimbatore-based Tamizhthai Cable Vision, which was one of the 11 MSOs listed in the bill seeking take over, was run by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham people.
"This will make it clear that my government has acted only in the interest of the public without showing any favouritism or partiality," she said.
Accusing DMK president M Karunanidhi of distorting facts about the government's move, Jayalalithaa clarified that the bill passed in the Assembly on Friday was only to take over the Multiple Service Optical Transport System and that it was not targeted at channel broadcasters.
Referring to Karunanidhi's allegation that despite the presence of 500 MSOs in the state, the government had chosen to take over only 10, including Sun TV, with the intention of muzzling its voice during the election time, the chief minister said he had made the statement only to confuse people.
Pointing out that Sun TV was only a channel broadcaster and not an MSO, she said there was no provision in the Tamil Nadu Acquisition, Transfer and Taking Over of the Administration of Cable Television Network Bill, 2006 to take over channel broadcasters.
Jayalalithaa said the bill was introduced and passed in the House only to bring to an end the monopoly control of certain MSOs. The dominant MSOs not only decided the package for channels provided by them, but also fixed the charges.
They had also brought the tail-end operators under their control using threats and coercion, she said.
They indulged in "unfair practices" and "behind-the-screen activities" against rival MSOs besides disrupting the telecast of other channels, she added.
Jayalalithaa said in the first phase, the new system would be implemented in areas under the six corporations to remove defects and irregularities in cable TV network operations and would gradually be extended to other areas.
The takeover would lead to a new era ensuring transparency in the administration of cable television network operations in the state, she said.
Denying Karunanidhi's charge that the Bill was passed without giving the opposition a chance to express its views, Jayalalithaa said DMK member Arcot N Veerasamy and other opposition members had aired their views on the floor of the House.
As the government's move had won the appreciation of entire Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi was "attempting to divert the people's attention by indulging in false propaganda," she charged.