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Rahul Gandhi's consent was not taken before Natarajan submitted bill to gag media: Congress

New Delhi, Wed, 02 May 2012 ANI

New Delhi, May 2 (ANI): Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi has clarified that a private member's bill on restraining the media, which was submitted by Meenakshi Natarajan contains the personal views of the lawmaker, and added that she did not take the approval of Rahul Gandhi before submitting it.

"The bill related to media submitted by Meenakshi Natarajan in the Lok Sabha is a private member's bill and contains her personal views. These are not the views of Rahul Gandhi as indicated in a section of media, and his consent was not taken before submitting the bill," Dwivedi told media here

In her bill, Natarajan had proposed the creation of a seven-member regulatory authority that could prohibit a news organisation from publishing a report which is viewed as a national threat.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA), N. K. Singh, criticized Natarajan for her poor knowledge of Indian democracy.

"Perhaps Meenakshi Natarajan doesn't understand the elementary nuances of democracy. Had she studied Article 19-1(A) thoroughly, she wouldn't have ventured into this kind of exercise and Congress is not going to endorse it in any case. Even if it does we are not bothered by it. Any government that does it, will have to suffer serious public anger," warned Singh.

He accepted that some sections of society are angry with the media for its reportage on the country's biggest scams including the multi-billion rupee, 2G spectrum scam and the Commonwealth Games (CWG)scam.

"There is an element of anger against the media of late, and that is true. Well, the way we covered the Anna Hazare movement, the way we covered the anti corruption movement, the way we covered 2G spectrum and the CWG. These were some of the events where the government got a little unnerved, and validly so, any government would be," said Singh. (ANI)

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