August 13, 2013 4:13:47 am
Not to be left behind the Thackeray brothers who take lead in playing the regional card,the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday demanded that five-star hotels in Maharashtra be made to compulsorily play Marathi news channels.
In a letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,NCPs working president Jitendra Awhad wrote,Marathi is the state language and cannot be given secondary treatment. The five-star hotels cannot ignore the state language.
According to Awhad,five-star hotels ignore Marathi channel news and programmes. Why should one presume that those living in five-star hotels wont like to watch Marathi news channels or programmes. The option should always be there for the viewers to decide, his letter stated.
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The Shiv Sena,however,is not amused with the NCP raking up such issues ahead of the elections. Sena MP Bharat Kumar Raut said,The NCP has suddenly woken up after so many years. If they are so concerned,they should approach their government and get it implemented in 24 hours.
A senior NCP minister admitted the party doesnt want to be left behind regional parties. We have to strike a chord with people of Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, the minister said,acknowledging that Maharashtrians constitute 26-30 per cent voters in the state capital.
Though Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said his party was in agreement with the NCPs demand,it was not clear if the government could force the hotels to play Marathi channels. I am not sure whether the government can frame a law or not. It is up to the government to decide, Sawant said.
Sources in the CM office and the Deputy CM office said the matter will be discussed in the Cabinet.
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