Party TV

August 23 2014

The desire to have their own TV channels is an old one among political parties. When the NDA government was at the Centre and Arun Jaitley was the information and broadcasting minister, the ruling CPM government in West Bengal wanted to start an exclusive channel but then it didn’t get the permission from Jaitley. When Mamata Banerjee took over the reins in the state, she had similar intentions but then it was UPA-2 at the Centre and Manish Tewari was the information and broadcasting minister and he put didi’s proposal on the back burner. Several months before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, those close to Narendra Modi had intentions of starting a news channel and talks had taken place about the same with an operator, but NaMo turned down the idea at the last moment. But the CPM started the channel Kairali by forming a trust. In West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya spoke to Zee TV’s Subhash Chandra and tried to allocate all the resourced for Zee 24 Ghanta. Several industrialists in favour of the CPM invested money in the same and the channel became a mouthpiece of sorts of the CPM in the state – something that pinched Mamata. But the channel is singing a different tune ever since Mamata Banerjee has taken over the state. Sources reveal that things have come to such a state that to please Mamata, the channel owners have let the channel head go since he had CPM leanings. Taking advantage of the times, Naveen Jindal, who has always been Chandra’s competitor, has started his Focus Bangla channel in the state and it is believed to be a pro-Mamata channel. So to cover Mamata’s Singapore trip, Zee-24 Ghanta sent a team of 10 people to Singapore, and a live telecast of didi’s activities could be seen on the channel.

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