Press Council meets Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan to record his statement on 'paid news' controversy
PTI | January 29, 2010
Members of the inquiry committee set up by the Press Council to examine 'paid news' met Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, whom the EC has served a notice after complaints that he allegedly paid newspapers for publishing stories in his favour before Assembly polls.
"We met the chief minister at his official residence 'Varsha' yesterday and recorded his statement on the issue. He denied that he or his associates paid money to newspapers to publish complimentary articles," Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a member of the two-member inquiry committee, told PTI.
"The council chairman G N Ray had sent a letter to the chief minister, seeking his time and views on the whole paid news issue," he said.
Chavan denied having paid money to newspapers. "We told him this is what senior journalist P Sainath has written. We asked him a lot of questions based on the allegations of paid news. We recorded his statement on a tape recorder," he said.
Chavan told the panel that the "appropriate forum to respond to the allegations is the court of law where poll petitions are heard".
"He told us he has received a letter from the election commission and that he would be responding to it soon."
Worried over the paid-news syndrome in the media in the run-up to elections, the election commission served a notice to Chavan last week, following a complaint from BJP.
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