CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee on Friday criticised the Centre for ordering a one-day ban on Hindi news channel NDTV India, saying it showed that an “Emergency-like attitude” prevailed in the country. “NDTV ban is shocking. If government had issues with Pathankot coverage, there are provisions available. But ban shows an Emergency-like attitude,” Mamata said in a statement.
Mamata’s criticism of the Modi government days before the Winter Session of the Parliament isn’t without cause. With the Left Front declining in Bengal, sources said the ruling Trinamool Congress feared that RSS and BJP were slowly gaining ground, particularly after a spate of alleged communal tension following Muharram and Durga Puja last month. Mamata had given the party a three-point agenda, wherein leaders have been asked to go on an all-out attack on the BJP during the Winter Session.
An inter-ministerial panel on Thursday had concluded that NDTV India had revealed crucial and “strategically sensitive” information when the terror attack on IAF base was being carried out. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, while invoking the powers under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, said it “orders to prohibit the transmission or retransmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India” with effect from 12.01 am on November 9 to 12.01 am on November 10.
This is the first ever such order against a TV channel over its coverage of a terror attack, the norms regarding which were notified last year.
In its reply, the channel said that it was a case of “subjective interpretation” and that most of the information it had put out was already in public domain in print, electronic and social media.
Earlier, Mamata had termed the detention of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after he attempted to meet the family of a retired soldier who committed suicide, as being “unacceptable”. “What’s happening? Unprecedented. A chief minister is detained in his own state. He cannot move about freely. Unacceptable,” Mamata had said.
Explaining Trinamool’s attacks on the BJP, a party MP said: “As CPM and Congress have been wiped out of Bengal, a political vacuum has been created in the Opposition space and the BJP-RSS is fast filling that up.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a function in Kolkata to celebrate the canonisation of Mother Teresa, Mamata on Friday stressed on religious harmony in the state and said its soil is for everyone.
“All religions are one. All are equal. We have to stay together. Unity is strength. Our soil is for everyone. If everyone stays together then no one can divide us,” she said. “The Missionaries of Charity is there. We want other organisations also to come up to take care of orphans,” she added.