New Delhi: Television news channel Doordarshan was hit by a controversy for allegedly editing out portions of Bharatiya Janata Party Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's interview. Modi's office has now released the full interview, pointing out that Modi never said that Congress President Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi is like his daughter.
In his comment on Priyanka, Modi is seen saying that he will not be angry even if Congress President Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi hurls a hundred curses at him. "Any daughter for her brother and mother's victory will do everything. A daughter is after all a daughter, if she does not work for her mother, whom will she do it for? It is her right to work for her mother, to work for her brother. If she hurls ten more curses, then too a daughter is a daughter and as a daughter, whatever she does, I won't be angry at her," Modi said in the interview to DD News.
The question now is as to where the reports about Modisaying Priyanka is like his daughter came from. With media reports quoting Modi as saying Priyanka was like his daughter, a visibly angry Priyanka Gandhi in her terse reply to him had said that she did not "appreciate" his comments calling her his daughter. "My father died for this country more than 20 years ago. I loved him more than anyone in the world. I really don't appreciate this. Enough is enough," she said.
Calling former prime minister and her father Rajiv Gandhi a martyr, she said, "In my heart, he can never be compared to any other person." Though she looked upset, she stated that Modi's comment did not anger her but she appealed for such comparisons to end. "Enough is enough," she said.
"I am Rajiv Gandhi's daughter," she said in stern words while admitting that the political discourse in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections had gone down.
On Thursday, there were reports that Doordarshan had "censored" Narendra Modi's interview, with BJP alleging that it was due to government "pressure" even as the public broadcaster insisted that there was no interference by any authority or any "deliberate omission".
The government also denied any hand in the alleged omission of the part of the interview in which Modi is believed to have said that Priyanka Gandhi was like his daughter, arguing that Prasar Bharati, which runs DD, is autonomous. "Prasar Bharti is an independent body. ..Somewhere pressure has been exerted and the interview has been censored and cut," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman had told a press conference.
"It is a shame, when at one point of time Congress party speaks about freedom of speech, there is still space for censor and Congress party is misusing this power," she said, adding "either the Prasar Bharati or the Information and Broadcasting Ministry should "answer".
Denying any wrongdoing, Doordarshan had said in a statement, "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."
Insisting that there was no attempt to downplay the interview, DD had said that "important portions of the interview were used in all the important bulletins of DD News also....It was given wide pre-telecast publicity and (the interview) was repeated the next day."
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari also said that his ministry does not interfere in Doordarshan's news agenda as it has an "arm's length relationship with Prasar Bharati, which is an autonomous broadcaster by an act of Parliament."
(With additional information from PTI)