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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Serious programming will be cut: Kharge questions LSTV-RSTV merger

Kharge said it is “better” to have two separate channels for the two Houses. “When you have hundreds of channels, what is the harm in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha having separate channels,” he asked.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
Updated: March 4, 2021 3:54:04 am
Mallikarjun Kharge

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has raised questions on the merger of Lok Sabha TV (LSTV) and Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) into a single channel – Sansad TV – and said that the two channels were created with some “good intention”.

“I don’t know with what intention they have decided to merge the channels. In my opinion, it is better to have separate channels because the telecast can be done in detail and the issues which come up in each House can also be analysed and discussed in detail,” he told The Indian Express.

Kharge said it is “better” to have two separate channels for the two Houses. “When you have hundreds of channels, what is the harm in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha having separate channels,” he asked.

The Congress leader said the channels hold discussion on topics such as agricultural issues, education, science and technology, constitutional matters and Bills. “They bring experts for the debate. There are knowledge-based programmes. If the channels are merged…both channels can’t have their separate programmes. Then what will happen? It is better to have separate channels so that problems of the people get highlighted and separate panel discussions can be held,” he said.

Kharge said the channels also hold discussions on issues raised in each house, and “once they are merged…what will happen?” He wondered whether the channels are being merged to curtail expenses. “You are dismantling an existing building and doing so many things…and small things you are doing away with,” he said.

With presiding officers of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha having accepted the merger, retired IAS officer Ravi Capoor was on March 1 appointed chief executive officer of the new channel. A panel, appointed by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu in consultation with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, had in June last year suggested that Parliament should have only one channel.

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