The Congress on Wednesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “khaas dost” (special friend) after reports emerged that the Gautam Adani-led Adani group has launched a hostile takeover of New Delhi Television (NDTV) and described the move as an attempt to stifle the media.
“The news of a deeply over-leveraged company owned by the PM’s ‘khaas dost’ making a hostile takeover bid of a well-known TV news network is nothing but concentration of economic and political power, and a brazen move to control and stifle any semblance of an independent media,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
“What’s mysterious is how a loan given by one of the ‘Humare Do’ is used as a weapon by the other member of the duo to trigger the hostile takeover of the television network. Ironical, that an outfit called ‘Vishvapradhan’ is closely involved!” Mr. Ramesh added in another tweet.
Independent member of the Rajya Sabha Kapil Sibal tweeted, “Almost the last bastion of Independent journalism being taken over by industry. We should be worried!”
On Tuesday, while the Adani group claimed that it had acquired a 29.18% stake in NDTV through an indirect acquisition and would make an open offer to buy out a further 26% stake, promoters of NDTV, one of the nation’s most popular news channels, said they were completely unaware of the takeover until Tuesday and that it was done without their consent or any discussion.