Chandy rejects TV report, asks media to introspect

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CHANDYThiruvananthapuram, July 27;Terming as ‘totally wrong’ reports that a Minister in his cabinet had sought to interfere in the solar scam probe, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday said legal action would be taken against the television channel which carried the story based on a sting operation.

“It (the story) is totally wrong. Legal action will be taken against the channel. The channel authorities should come out and explain their sting operation. Other media should also make clear their stand on issues like this,” he said.

Speaking at a function at Kollam, Mr. Chandy said the Malayalam TV channel story which aired telephonic talk purportedly made by Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar with an alleged middleman, showed that media would go to “any extent” and wanted the channel authorities to come clean on the matter.

He charged that the channel did not carry the entire conversation of the sting operation. “Certain portions of the talk were taken out and presented,” he said.

Mr. Chandy said the government fully respected the freedom of the press, but everybody should introspect if all limits could be crossed in the name of freedom.

The channel had on Friday reported that attempts had been made to spare some Congress leaders’ names from a complaint to be submitted to the court by the key accused Saritha Nair.

In this context, the channel had aired the sound track of a telephone conversation purportedly made by the minister and a middleman.

Reacting to the channel report on Friday, leaders of opposition parties had alleged that this exposed attempts to sabotage the case to spare Congress leaders, including ministers, from ignominy.

Meanwhile, Anil Kumar, who strongly refuted that he had sought to intervene in the case, said in Malappuram on Saturday that media should introspect itself.

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