The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought an explanation from Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on why Doordarshan Podhigai in Chennai did not telecast live the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (September 30).
According to sources, DD Podhigai was telecasting a Tamil song and a drama when the Prime Minister was delivering a speech at the prize distribution ceremony of the Singapore-India Hackathon and the 56th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M).
The PMO has taken the issue seriously and a joint secretary in the PMO has also reportedly spoken to senior officials at the Doordarshan Kendra in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, in its response, DD Podhigai said they had difficulties in telecasting live the Prime Minister’s speech. They have also claimed that their crew was not allowed inside the venue where Modi was delivering the speech.
However, The Federal confirmed that the entire event was shot by a DD Podhigai team in Chennai with additional support from a Bengaluru crew.
One of the crew members of DD Podhigai told The Federal that the live streaming of the PM’s speech on DD News was shot by them. “As many as 16 camerapersons worked for these two events. We did not know why DD Podhigai did not telecast the speech live,” said the crew member.
A DD Podhigai official confirmed that the entire speech of the Prime Minister was carried as a news item and that it was not telecast live.
“We did not telecast the Prime Minister’s speech live. It was carried on DD National since it was a national event and so that it has a national outreach. But we did carry it as a news item on DD Podhigai. We have never carried news of national relevance in our region,” said Vijayan, additional director in the editorial team of DD Podhigai (News).
However, in a contrasting statement, DD Podhigai director (News) M Annadurai claimed that the PM’s entire speech was telecast live and that there was no issue regarding this.
Despite The Federal’s best efforts, DD Podhigai head of programmes Vasumathi Rajan was unavailable for a comment.
Commenting on the issue, BJP state working committee member ANS Prasad said that the camerapersons were not allowed inside the venue due to security reasons. “However, the crew that came along with the Prime Minister had given them the video output. They should have telecast it live. I don’t know why they didn’t,” he said.
A spokesperson of the ruling AIADMK claimed ignorance about the incident, but said that the central government would take departmental action against those responsible for not telecasting the speech live.
(With inputs from Prabhakar Tamilarasu)