Bangaluru: Editors of all Kannada channels in Karnataka held a closed door meeting with chief minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Tuesday seeking his intervention in resolving a dispute involving TV9, which alleged it was blacked out for several hours on Monday on the state government’s orders.
Karnataka’s leading news channel, TV9, was taken off air on Monday night following a directive issued by an influential minister in the state government, channel authorities had alleged.
The channel said it was supposed to run an expose against the Congress government at 9:30pm in the prime-time segment.
Emerging from the meeting, Siddaramaiah told reporters the government had nothing to do with the issue.
“It is between the cable operators and the channel’s management,” said Siddaramaiah.
His office had told HT on Monday that he had refused to react to the controversy.
Information minister Roshan Baig said, “I have called the cable operators association for a meeting at 2.30pm. The government will mediate a settlement although we had no role in the episode.”
Several cable operators boycotted the channel just before the scheduled telecast time of the programme, according to the channel.
“The action of the cable operators emanates from a meeting between them and Karnataka minister for energy DK Shivakumar a few days ago, at which the minister ordered them to stop telecasting TV9 and NEWS9,” a press release issued by the channel said.
“He threatened them that the government will impose heavy penalties on them if they did not stop telecasting TV9 and News9.”
Patrick Raju, president of the Karnataka State Cable Operator Association (KSCOA), denied the channel was taken off air following pressure from the government.
The channel had earlier courted a controversy over a dispute with the Telangana government and was threatened by the state chief minister, K Chandraskehar Rao, in September.