BJD continues to muzzle voice of media, lodges 4 complaints against OTV in 24 hours
Bhubaneswar: In yet another brazen attempt to muzzle the voice of OTV, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has filed four complaints against the leading media house in Odisha in the last 24 hours. After falsely accusing the channel of telecasting press conference of BJP during silence period yesterday, the BJD today moved the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) against the channel for allegedly ‘ influencing voters to vote against BJD very subtly and implicitly’.
Apart from this, the BJD alleged that BJP and its leader Samir Mohanty addressed a press conference today regarding an alleged attack on its party candidate at Chikiti in Ganjam district and accused OTV of ‘scrolling the content of the presser’. Even they made another allegation on telecast of BJP Vice President Baijayant Panda’s response on the channel.
However, OTV as a responsible media house has stuck to rules and regulations prescribed by the EC during the first phase election which was held in four parliamentary and 28 assembly segments today. Not only BJP, OTV aired all important happenings and even telecast news regarding Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s election campaign at Kantamal and Sonepur and even devoted airtime to BJD’s allegations, in a free and fair manner.
It is important to mention that the BJD delegation after meeting CEO yesterday, openly violated the Election Commission Of India (ECI) guidelines of March 15 and spoke to the media soon after meeting the CEO. On realising the mistake, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra tried to dodge media queries on such violations at a later point last evening.
It is pertinent to mention here that it is not for the first time that OTV is witnessing such reaction from the ruling-BJD. Earlier, the party had levelled paid news allegations against OTV during Bijepur by-poll and later boycotted participating in panel discussions of the channel in March last year. Restrictions were also clamped on the entry of OTV journalists into Naveen Niwas, the official residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in December last year.
Despite, such deliberate attempts to throttle the voice of media by ruling BJD, OTV has been consistently presenting its viewers all the current happenings , news and other incidents in the State in an unbiased manner.
Presumably, as OTV’s factual reporting based on facts has exposed corruption, the ruling party is resorting to such cheap tactics to muzzle the voice of the leading channel in the State, feel political analysts.