Congress party planning to launch news channel

Indian Congress President, Sonia Gandhi (centre), and party Vice President, Rahul Gandhi (right), shout slogans during a protest against the week long suspension of 25 lawmakers from their party by Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, in New Delhi on
Indian Congress President, Sonia Gandhi (centre), and party Vice President, Rahul Gandhi (right), shout slogans during a protest against the week long suspension of 25 lawmakers from their party by Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, in New Delhi on Aug 7, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

NEW DELHI • The Congress party says having its own national news channel would plug a communication breakdown it has blamed as the main reason for its thrashing a year ago in the Lok Sabha elections.

Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony has confirmed the party was preparing plans to launch a news channel to bridge a "communication gap", the Indian Express newspaper reported.

Sources told the paper that party president Sonia Gandhi was impressed by the Kerala model, where the state unit was successfully running a television channel.

Mr Antony said the Congress was unable to convey the United Progressive Alliance's achievements and counter the propaganda against it during the 2014 elections.

There was a demand internally for a national news channel, he said. Discussions had begun to convert Jaihind TV - promoted by the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee - to a national channel.

The former Union minister said the Congress party was lagging in utilising new media. According to sources, many in the Congress leadership still felt the party was unable to project itself properly.

"With Congress president's concurrence, we have already started preparing a detailed report for a national channel," Jaihind Channel managing director and senior Congress leader M.M. Hassan said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2015, with the headline 'Congress party planning to launch news channel'. Print Edition | Subscribe