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Modi slams Doordarshan over interview row

Posted on May 03 2014 | IBNS

Ahmedabad, May 3 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed public service broadcaster Doordarshan over "censoring" of portions of his interview.

"Greetings to journalist friends on World Press Freedom Day. Free press is a democracy's cornerstone and must be preserved in letter and spirit.On days such as this, I feel very sad to see our National TV channel struggling to maintain its professional freedom," tweeted Modi.

"We have witnessed the horrors of Emergency when freedom of press and freedom of expression were suppressed. It is a blot on our democracy," he posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Prasar Bharati's CEO Jawhar Sircar has distanced himself from the issue that Modi's interview on Doordarshan was allegedly 'censored' and said the national broadcaster lacks autonomy.

Sircar has reportedly shot a letter to the members of the Prasar Bharati Board.

In his letter, Sircar has mentioned about Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and said the 'young minister' did not greater autonomy.

In a statement, Doordarshan earlier rejected any wrongdoing and said: " "There was no deliberate editing or omission of any portion of the interview. Wherever editing was done, it was for technical reasons and during post-production. There was no interference or control from any authority in the entire process.Important portions of the interview were used in all the important bulletins of DD News."

"There was no attempt to downplay the interview, rather it was given wide pre-telecast publicity and also repeated the next day, i.e. on 28th April, 2014," it said.

Doordarshan had allegedly edited out certain portions from the Gujarat Chief Minister's interview that was telecast on Apr 27.

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