Congress distances itself from media regulation bill
The Congress Tuesday distanced itself from a bill on media regulation proposed by Meenakshi Natarajan, a Lok Sabha MP and an aide of Rahul Gandhi, the party's general secretary.
"The bill is based on her (Natarajan's) views. These are not the views of Rahul Gandhi. Neither are these his views nor has she got his consent on this bill," Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters here.
Natarajan, a first-time MP, was supposed to introduce The Print and Electronic Media Standards and Regulation Bill, 2012, a Private Member's Bill, last week. However, she was absent during the session.
Her bill proposes sweeping powers to an authority to regulate media including banning or suspending coverage of an event or incident that may pose a threat to national security from foreign or internal sources.
The bill even suggests a fine of up to Rs.50 lakh, suspension of the organisation's licence for up to 11 months and cancellation in some cases.
Natarajan, 38, was elected from the Mandsaur constituency in Madhya Pradesh in 2009.
She is also an All India Congress Committee secretary and part of Rahul Gandhi's core team.