Paid news a grave issue, says new I&B minister

New Delhi, Oct 29:  Manish Tewari, the newly sworn-in minister of state for information and broadcasting, Monday described paid news as a very grave issue and said efforts would be made to evolve a political consensus on it.
 Tewari, who was Congress spokesperson till Saturday, said he met his predecessor Ambika Soni Sunday evening after being given the independent charge of the ministry.
 "I called on her. In addition to being a former minister, she's a very senior colleague in the party. So, I went and sought her guidance and blessings,? he said.
 Asked about paid news, he said: "I realize the gravity of the situation with regard to paid news, since I have fought two elections. But it is a situation on which we should get a consensus with all parties on the issue."
 Tewari also said his ministry's job was not to regulate the media, but to ensure a level playing field for everyone.
 On the digitization of cable television, which is to be effected in the four metros from Nov 1, Tewari said the roadmap had been laid for the process and he would meet the officials looking into it.
 He refused to comment on reports that some ministers were unhappy with their portfolios.
 "I think that is above my pay grade... the contours of the cabinet reshuffle fall within the ambit of the Congress president and the prime minister, and I don't want to comment," he said.
 He also refused to comment on Arvind Kejriwal, who has criticized the reshuffle saying that those who were corrupt have been rewarded. Kejriwal has accused Salman Khurshid, who was made external affairs minister, of financial impropriety, a charge the minister has rejected.
 On the India Against Corruption activist, Tewari said he did not want to start his first day "on an adverserial note, and my views and approach are very, very apart (from Kejriwal's)".
 He also refused to comment on the upcoming reshuffle in the Congress party, saying the party chief Sonia Gandhi is the one to decide on it. IANS

Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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