According to sources in the information and broadcasting ministry,
a formal letter to this effect will be issued this evening.
The election commission had earlier sought clarifications from
Prasar Bharati on whether the relaunch of DD News on the eve of
assembly elections in four states would breach the model poll of
conduct, considering that the channel's new avtaar and upkeep would
be financed by the government.
According to the model code, the government cannot take decisions
that may seem to be amounting to handing out sops to the general
populace or highlighting its own achievements. This temporary ban
starts from the time election dates are announced by the EC and
remains in effect till the whole poll process is over.
Prasar Bharati had maintained that the decision to relaunch DD
News was taken by its board on 11 July this year and that the file
concerned had been moving between Prasar Bharati and the I&B ministry
since January. Also, the pubcaster had argued that if the EC objected
to a new channel as breaching the model poll conduct, nothing would
anyway stop it from increasing the news bulletins and current affairs
programming on DD's other channels.
Meanwhile, Aaj Tak's political editor Deepak Chaurasia also took
up the post as consulting editor to DD News over the last weekend.
With all hurdles along the way cleared, DD News' relaunch now appears
to be a certaintly.
Stay tuned for more details.
See earlier stories -
A question mark on DD
News relaunch early-November
DD News set for 3 November
launch after cabinet okay