Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar inspects guard of honor during Independence Day parade in Agartala on Aug 15, 2017.. Image Source: IANS

Agartala, Aug 18 : The ruling CPI-M in Tripura on Friday staged a demonstration in front of the All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) offices here to protest against alleged censorship of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar's recorded Independence Day speech by national broadcaster Prasar Bharati.

The leaders and members of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government for allegedly controlling the autonomous body -- Prasar Bharati.

"The BJP government is trying to bring back the dark days of Emergency. They have already started taking steps like those during the Emergency in 1975," CPI-M Central Committee member Gautam Das said while addressing the demonstration.

He said: "Like in Emergency, the BJP government is trying to impose one party-one leader rule in the country. They have to be given a befitting reply in the next assembly and parliamentary polls."
The CPI-M-led Left Front had earlier announced it would organise agitations across the state to protest Prasar Bharati's "censorship" of Sarkar's recorded Independence Day speech.

According to an earlier official statement, AIR and DDK, Agartala, had recorded Sarkar's speech on August 12 to broadcast it on August 15, but subsequently asked the Chief Minister to reshape the speech making it suitable to the solemnity of the occasion and sentiments of the people of India at large.

The Chief Minister, however, refused to make any change in his speech.

Sarkar, who has been Chief Minister of Tripura for 19 years, termed Prasar Bharati's decision as "'undemocratic, autocratic and intolerant".

However, Prasar Bharati refuted the news that appeared in a section of the media and said the allegations that it censored the Independence Day speech of the Tripura Chief Minister were "totally incorrect".

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