Information and Broadcasting Minister L.K. Advani said there was need for a Press Commission but the government had not decided on it yet. Advani, who was replying to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the working of his ministry, mentioned the need for a Press Commission in the context of delinking the Press from big business houses. Advani said he stood by his word to make the All India Radio and TV autonomous organisations. The minister said autonomous organisation means no government control. Parliamentary control would be there on broad policies. Advani agreed that the guidelines regarding film censorship should be more clear. He was not in favour of giving complete freedom to the cinema. He said the direction in which the cinema was going was not healthy. Opposition members made three major points during the debate: There should be a new Press Commission to go into the whole gamut of the working of the Press; the Press must be delinked from big business and there must be diffusion of Press ownership; and the infiltration of the RSS into media organisations after the coming of the Janata government.
Leader of the Congress parliamentary party Y.B. Chavan and the Congress president, K. Brahmananda Reddy stayed away from the dinner Mrs Gandhi’s supporters organised at the Karnataka Bhavan in Delhi to enable her to meet the party MPs. Mrs Gandhi turned up for the dinner a little late. The Congress parliamentary party has a strength of about 300, about 150 attended the dinner.
K.D. Malaviya, former minister for petroleum, said that he would stand for the presidentship of the Indian National Congress in the December. However, if a more suitable candidate — physically, politically, and ideologically — was found, “I would not hesitate to support him,” he said.