Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar claimed that Doordarshan and All India Radio refused to broadcast his 71st Independence Day speech unless he reshaped it.
The Chief Minister’s Office in Tripura said, “The Chief Minister clearly stated that he would not change a single word and described it as unprecedented, undemocratic, autocratic and intolerant step.”
According to statement Doordarshan and All India Radio had recorded Sarkar’s speech on August 12.
On Monday, the Chief Minister’s Office was informed via a letter that his speech would not be broadcast unless he “reshaped it”.
Both the DD and the AIR are run by the Prasar Bharati.
Every year, as a custom, the DD and the AIR broadcast the speeches of all the CMs of the country in their respective states during the Independence Day.
However, this time, the Prasar Bharati allegedly did not broadcast Sarkar’s speech after he refused to “reshape” his speech.
The party demanded action against those responsible for “prohibiting” the broadcast.
“This is a gross infringement on the right of a CM to address the people of his state on the Independence Day. This act is reminiscent of the Emergency days and goes beyond as it seeks to gag the elected CM of a state. The central government is trampling upon the autonomy of the DD/AIR and the Prasar Bharati by such acts of censorship,” the statement said.
“Doordarshan Refuses to Broadcast Tripura CM Manik Sarkar’s Speech. Is this the Cooperative Federalism that PM Modi Talks About? Shame!” the CPI (M)’s official Twitter handle said.
The controversy, which has already turned political, has come at a time when both the BJP and the CPI (M) are looking to win the upcoming Assembly elections, scheduled early next year.