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I&B Ministry in fix over removing Deepak Chaurasia

03-July-2004
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I&B Ministry in fix over removing Deepak Chaurasia

While the Congress-led UPA government has gone all hog to remove NDA government appointed governors, it is however treading cautiously over the issue of removal of DD News Consulting Editor, Deepak Chaurasia whose appointment by Prasar Bharati was made in October last, allegedly because of the patronage of BJP top brass.

Particularly I&B Minister Jaipal Reddy who has been a strong votary of Prasar Bharati’s autonomy, is not prepared to send any wrong signals on this count though he is under pressure from the left allies to desaffronise DD News.

Interestingly, I&B honchos have been blowing hot and cold over this controversial issues to the media persons on condition of anonymity. Even on Friday, a top source in ministry told media persons off the record that though the ministry was not in favour of taking direct action against political appointees of the previous government in Doordarshan, it was up to such appointees to quit on their own but the government was not ruling out anything.

The ministry source made it clear that though Chaurasia and company were hired on contractual basis by Prasar Bharati the contract could be terminated mutually. Obviously in such a scenario I & B Ministry may put pressure over Prasar Bharati for the exit of Chaurasia or else he may be made to go. It may be mentioned that the former Director General Doordarshan S.Y. Quraishi was made to quit following the pressure from the then I & B Minister in NDA government, Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Meanwhile the suspense over Chaurasia’s fate continues. When exchange4media spoke to Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma, he said that he was not aware of any developments on this issue as he was sick and not attending the office. Chaurasia on the other hand told this correspondent that he was very much there in DD News and no one has asked him to go. However, the names of potential candidates to replace Chaurasia are already doing the rounds of the media. The top contenders include the senior journalist of a leading financial daily from Delhi who is said to be close to Sanjay Baru, media advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the news head of a leading Hindi News Channel.

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