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Assam govt to start own TV channel: Gogoi

Guwahati: Emulating his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today announced plans to start a TV channel by his government that will present the "official" side of stories.

Talking to reporters here, Gogoi accused the electronic media of going "hyper" and not being "impartial" in its reporting and said a government-owned channel will help to bring balance.

"We will start a government TV channel. While newspapers are more or less objective in their news reporting, the coverage given by TV channels is biased in many instances and I believe in freedom of speech, but we also have to give our views," he said.

Asked if his government`s plan is an emulation of Banerjee, Gogoi said on a lighter note: "I will follow Mamata."

The Chief Minister criticised local TV channels on their reportage during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s one-day trip to Guwahati on April 20. The banned ULFA had called for a state-wide bandh in protest against Singh`s visit.

"The channels created an impression as if Assam runs on the writ of ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah. What are the channels trying to prove by sending this kind of message?" Gogoi said.

Asked about the deadline for the government to bring on air its TV channel, Gogoi said the state government will study all aspects before launching it. He said the channel will cater to social issues, besides political news, and also give space to opposition groups.

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