National broadcaster Doordarshan on Wednesday dismissed allegations that it intentionally blacked out Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s speech on Independence Day, reported ANI. In a letter, the network referred to the claims as “totally incorrect” and said that the news unit of the local station in Agartala gave wide coverage to the chief minister’s public address.
“On August 15, 2017, Doordarshan gave wide coverage to the chief minister’s Independence Day programme and telecast reports running to 29 minutes and 45 seconds,” the letter said. “Out of this, the chief minister’s speech was covered for 12 minutes.” Doordarshan also claimed that it telecast a repeat of the speech on Wednesday.
The network said it “vehemently refuted” the allegations that Sarkar’s speech was blacked out.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday alleged that Doordarshan and the All India Radio refused to broadcast Sarkar’s Independence Day speech unless he reworked it. Sarkar’s speech was scheduled to be aired at 6.30 am on Tuesday. CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said Doordarshan was “not the private property of the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh”.