The Opposition party Rashtriya Janata Dal on Wednesday demanded a special debate on the Press Council of India’s report raising concerns about media freedom in Bihar, during the ongoing budget session of the Bihar legislature.
Citing serious concerns over media freedom in Bihar, the PCI team’s report makes a scathing indictment of the Nitish Kumar-led government for exerting an “indirect control” over the media, resulting in blotting out of news related to public concerns.
Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Leader of opposition and RJD leader moved an adjournment motion in the Assembly, which was rejected. RJD MLAs protested in the well by shouting slogans and accusing the government of hijacking the media.
There was a heated exchange between Mr. Siddiqui and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. Mr. Modi said the report there was nothing to prove that the report was an authentic document of the PCI. “It has not been approved by the PCI so how can we speak on it,” he said.
Opposition members also protested in the Assembly premises demanding an answer from the government. “We have called for a special debate. The government must reply,” an RJD legislator Samrat Choudhary told reporters.