Cong distances itself from party MP media bill

New Delhi: Congress today distanced itself from a private member`s bill tabled by party MP Meenakshi Natarajan saying it contained her personal views and not those of Rahul Gandhi with whom she is considered close.

"The bill was based on her (Natarajan`s) views. These are not not the views of Rahul Gandhi. Neither are these his views or nor has she got his consent to this bill," Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters here.

Dwivedi`s clarification comes on media reports that Natarajan was to introduce in Lok Sabha last week The Print and Electronic Media Standards and Regulation Bill, 2012 which could not not take place because she was absent when called.

The bill provides among others things for a regulatory authority with sweeping powers including a ban or suspending coverage of an event or incident that may pose a threat to national security from foreign or internal sources. It even provides for a fine of up to Rs. 50 lakh, suspension of a media organisation`s licence for up to 11 months and cancellation in some cases.

Natarajan, a first-time MP representing Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, is an AICC Secretary and is a member of Rahul Gandhi`s core team of youth leaders for building the party.