New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge on Friday raised the exit of two prominent journalists from a Hindi news channel in parliament.
He alleged that Modi government was “pressurising and intimidating” the media so that it does not write against it.
The opposition leaders alleged that the channel, ABP News, has been targeted over a report critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, following which two senior employees of a news television channel were told to quit after doing a reality check programme on Prime Minister’s claims.
Kharge accused the government of trying to curb freedom of the press in the Lok Sabha.
“There have been several instances of the government trying to stifle the media in the past few years. Especially when they try to do a ‘Reality Check’ of government’s views,” he said.
Union Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore strongly refuted the charge and said the first news aired by the channel was wrong but no show-cause notice was issued and it was the opposition’s habit to blame the government for everything.
The Minister suggested that the sackings in ABP may be linked to their falling viewership.
Kharge was referring to a news report on the ABP show “Masterstroke” that quoted the sarpanch from Chhattisgarh’s Kanharpuri as saying that Chandramani, the woman farmer, who interacted with Modi, had been tutored by a team from the Agriculture Department from New Delhi,
Modi had interacted with farmers from different parts of the country on June 20.
The show’s anchor Punya Prasun Bajpai and the channel’s managing editor Milind Khandekar announced their resignation from ABP News this week.
Many users on Twitter claimed that since the report was aired, there were blackouts during the show.