"It was just like a news event to us. So we covered it," Doordarshan's DG (News) Archana Dutta said, after the DD's hour-long live telecast of an RSS function for the first time came under attack from Congress and the Left which accused the government of misusing the state broadcaster.

She said that there was "no special arrangement" that had been made for the event and one of the several Digital Satellite News gathering vans (DSNG) that the broadcaster has in Maharashtra for coverage of the state elections was used for the event.

"We have several DSNG vans in Maharashtra and one such van was used for Nagpur," Dutta said.

BJP has defended the telecast with party leader Shaina N C saying that the RSS is only a nationalist organisation which believes in 'India first' and the country above the interest of any individual.

"I am glad that this speech has been highlighted and people realise that if there is one cadre in the country today that has genuinely contributed to patriotism and nation- building, it is the RSS," she said.

Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit termed the hour-long telecast as a "dangerous tradition", saying RSS is a controversial religious and political organisation.

Condemning the live broadcast, CPI(M) said, "The RSS uses the occasion propagate its Hindutva ideology. The national public broadcaster has no business to telecast live the speech of the chief of an organisation like the RSS." The CPI also condemned the live telecast.

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