New Delhi, March 3 : Following media reports that the Centre is withholding funds to Prasar Bharti since December, the Congress on Saturday attacked Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, saying “her unbridled whims and anger” was making “employees of DD/AIR suffer”.
The party also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue.
The party also questioned whey her ministry had chosen a private firm over Doordarshan (DD) for the International Film Festival of India in Goa. It also asked why a private firm should be paid Rs 2.92 crore by Prasar Bharti.
“Unbridled, unchecked and uncontrolled whims and anger of Information and Broadcasting Minister Ms Smriti Irani is making DD/AIR employees suffer,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, tagging a story by the news site ‘The Wire’ headlines “Exclusive: Angered by Prasar Bharati’s Defiance, Smriti Irani Blocks Salary Funds for DD, AIR”.
Surjewala also questioned the minister on the transfer of 140 Group A IIS officers (out of a cadre of 500) in two months.
“Is this a punishment tool? Why did the Minister whimsically transfer IIS Association President Anindya Sengupta? Why is PM Modi mum?”
Responding to reports that the Centre is withholding funds to Prasar Bharti for its alleged defiance to some Ministry directives, the government on Friday said the funds were being withheld as the public broadcaster was not abiding by the rules.
The Ministry termed the reports as “sinister, motivated campaign” and said that the “misinformation” was based on “half-baked facts”.
The Prasar Bharti is an autonomous body that functions under the aegis of Iiamp;B Ministry.