However, the Election Commission is still to take a formal decision
on a pre-elections relaunch, slated early November. Five states
in India go to polls between November and December and EC may slap
a ban on DD on the November relaunch, if it feels that it may amount
to undue advantage to the government of the day vis-à-vis other
Talking to indiantelevision.com on the auspicious day of Diwali,
Chaurasia said, "I would be resigning from Aaj Tak over the next
few days to take up this new assignment (at the helm of DD News)."
Pointing out that he does not foresee much problem with the relaunch
of DD News --- that may get delayed by a month or so, if EC sees
red --- Chaurasia added, "The agenda would be to make DD News as
competitive (as other news channels). But these are still early
days for me."
Chaurasia was taken round the Central Production Facility (CPC)
of DD in Delhi, from where most news bulletins are put out, on Diwali
day by DD officials. Though nobody is speaking on the issue, the
remuneration package of Chaurasia is said to be in the region of
Rs. 1.5 lakh (Rs 1,50,000) per month, a substantial northward trek
from his Aak Tak pay packet.
It is also being said that Chaurasia's departure from Aaj Tak may
have a cascading effect and four or five others too may leave with
him. Aaj Tak, on its part, is playing it cool. Pointing out that
Chaurasia was a competent professional, a senior executive of TV
Today Network, however, admitted, "We are not in the (salary) `matching'
game. At the end of the day, it's an individual's decision."
In the run-up to Chaurasia's wooing by DD, several other names
had been thrown up in the government and TV industry circles as
the head of DD News, which may still continue to be run by government
officials on deputation in Prasar Bharati. The other names that
had been doing the rounds included those of former BBC man in India
Meanwhile, DD officials pointed out that till the time the news
channel is not put back on air, Chaurasia is likely to undertake
anchoring assignments on DD's existing channels where the number
of news bulletins are likely to be increased in the run-up to the
See earlier story-
Aaj Tak's Chaurasia offered
DD News channel head position