“If Gujarat CM is concerned about press freedom in Prasar Bharati, we too are concerned about press freedom in Gujarat,” Tewari told mediapersons here.

“In Gujarat, the journalists were charged with sedition. They were barred from entering the assembly and complained of harassment,” he added.

Taking a jibe at the Congress-led UPA government over the issue of his edited interview that was telecast on Doordarshan, Modi earlier said the national broadcaster is struggling to maintain its professional freedom.

“I feel very sad to see our National TV channel struggling to maintain its professional freedom," Modi posted on microblogging site Twitter on the occasion of Word Press Freedom Day on Saturday.

“We have witnessed the horrors of Emergency when freedom of press & freedom of expression were suppressed. It is a blot on our democracy,” he added.

Modi’s comment came after Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, in a hard-hitting letter on Friday, acknowledged that certain portions of the Gujarat Chief Minister’s interview to Doordarshan ‘were apparently edited’.

Read more: Tewari downplays Sircar’s assertion, says I&B Ministry at arm’s-length from Prasar Bharati

Sircar also raised finger at the Information and Broadcasting Minister for failing to grant the public broadcaster ‘operational autonomy’ that it has been seeking for years.
The BJP had alleged that Modi’s interview, which was telecast a week ago on Doordarshan, was edited on the orders of the government. The interview triggered a huge controversy as it was alleged that Modi referred to Priyanka Gandhi as her daughter.

Priyanka reacted sharply and said that she is the daughter of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The BJP has released the video of complete interview clarifying that Modi never called her as daughter.
The interview got highlighted not only for the ‘daughter’ remark but for the comments made on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor Ahmed Patel as well.

In the interview, Modi said that Patel was his ‘good friend’. The Congress leader, however, strongly refuted Modi’s claim and offered to quit public life if the assertions are proved true.

Ashok Shrivastav, the Doordarshan journalist who conducted Modi’s interview, in a post on Twitter said, “The original interview was 56 minutes but I got half an hour chunk. So, we telecast 34 minutes.”

“Professionally I feel we should have telecast full versions,” he added.


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