MEDIA FREEDOM

Govt hits back at Rahul, says 21 news channels banned during UPA rule

Venkaiah-Naidu-announce-smart Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu

Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday hit out at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and said whatever he said about democracy and curtailing the freedom of press "suits the Congress itself".

"Every word Rahul said at the Congress Working Commitee (CWC) meet suits the Congress itself and reminds people of what it had done... Democracy was taken off the air for 19-and-a-half months and Emergency was imposed," the Information and Broadcasting Minister told reporters here.

Defending the government's decision against Hindi news channel NDTV India as a "small action", he said the government would never do anything to suppress media freedom.

Naidu said indiscriminate criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government would boomerang on the Congress, which has "no moral right to talk about democracy".

"The Congress Vice President's statements are laughable," he said, adding the government was prepared for a detailed debate on all these issues with the opposition during the winter session of Parliament.

He said nobody spoke about democracy and freedom of media during the UPA regime when 21 news channels were banned from time to time.

"In fact, the channel named Janmat was banned for 20 days when P.R. Dasmunsi was the Information and Broadcasting Minister," he said.

Naidu also said the action against NDTV India was initiated by the government following the guidelines and advisories issued by the UPA government in December 2008. 

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Topics : #NDTV ban

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