Goa Health Minister and BJP leader Vishwajit Rane, who won the Valpoi Assembly bypoll on Monday, alleged that a mining company, which also operates a top local cable news channel in the state, wanted to defeat him in the election.
An official of the cable news channel has denied the allegation.
“I was very sad that some mine owners (have) played a role against me in this election. And also Prudent (local cable news channel) which was very active in a negative manner. I was told by Pramod Acharya (editor-in-chief of the cable news channel) that ‘My management has given signals to defeat you in the election’,” Rane told reporters after his victory was announced by poll officials at the counting centre in Panaji. Rane also said that “several other” cable news channels had also campaigned against him.
Rane, whose constituency of Valpoi is flanked with several iron ore mining operations, defeated his Congress rival Roy Naik by a margin of 10,066 votes.
Speaking to IANS, Pramod Acharya, editor-in-chief of Prudent Media, a top cable news channel in the state, has flatly denied the allegation by Rane, that he had been instructed by the management to defeat the Health Minister.
“The statement made by Vishwajit Rane regarding me conveying to him about any ‘signals’ (is) absolutely false. Our coverage of these by-elections has been completely fair, unbiased and based on facts. Prudent is totally independent in its editorial coverage and approach, like always,” Acharya said.