If you have been wondering why Prime Minister Narendra Modiâ€™s flagship programmes Jan Dhan Yojana, Make in India, Land Acquisition Bill/Ordinance, etc are not being hard-sold by state-owned media housesDoordarshanand Press Information Bureau, wonder no more. Directors in Doordarshan known to be close to different ministers of the Congress-led UPA dispensation and the most visible of the 2009 batch of anchor-correspondents still decide the content of the national broadcaster, sources in the I&B Ministry and the government-run news channel have revealed toSwarajya. The sources said that Raj Kumar, Directorâ€“New Media (â€œNew Mediaâ€ is the department that handles DD Newsâ€™ Twitter handle and Facebook page) and Special Programme, was once close to NCP chief Sharad Pawar; Mamta Verma, Directorâ€“Assignment, was a favourite of Kapil Sibal and Directorâ€“Administration, Human Resource and Regional News Unit, K Satish Namboodiripadâ€™s proximity to KV Thomas is well known. Sibal is a former Telecommunication, Education and Law Minister who represented the Chandni Chowk constituency of Delhi in two consecutive terms of the UPA government. Thomas was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, in the second UPA government. He represents the Ernakulam Constituency in the 16th Lok Sabha. Right after its victory in the 2009 general election, the Congress planted its defenders from the journalistic fraternity inDoordarshanas anchor-correspondents (AC). Staff members of the channel alleged the following: - Ashwini Mishra (AC) is related to KL Sharma, who is parliamentary representative of Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhiâ€™s constituency Rae Bareli â€“ Jaya Sinha (AC Grade 1) was recommended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singhâ€™s personal secretary â€“ Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh had brought in Mamta Chopra (AC Grade 1), whose husband happens to be the present Congress general secretaryâ€™s astrologer â€“ Priyanka Aggarwal (AC Grade 2) is the wife of former Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharmaâ€™s nephew. Under UPA-I, Sharma had been given the I&B portfolio additionally when incumbent Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi fell seriously ill. Among recruits of the same designation in other batches, Deputy Editorial Consultant Gautam Rai (salary Rs 1,70,000 pm) and Senior Anchor Mummun Bhattacharya (salary Rs 1,15,000 pm) were recommended by former UPA I&B Minister Manish Tiwary. And Bengaluru Correspondent Ayesha Khanam was brought in by former Director General of Doordarshan SM Khan, the sources said. While a DG has the right to recruit someone, according to a rule of Prasar Bharati, any recruit drawing a salary of above Rs 50,000 per month needs sanction of the autonomous bodyâ€™s chairman. Khan sought no such permission even though Khanam draws a salary of Rs 1,40,000 per month. The minimum salary per month for AC Grade 1 is Rs 65,000 and that for AC Grade 2 is Rs 45,000. Congress appointees Chopra and Sinha get Rs 87,000 per month each as salary. Aggarwal gets Rs 60,000 per month. Mishraâ€™s salary is much less than the cut-off amount; he is a Congress appointee nevertheless. Khanâ€™s tenure also saw quite a few news presenters qualified to read Urdu bulletins moved to the Hindi section. Prasar Bharati rules do not allow a presenter to read bulletins in a language for which he/she has not passed the duly held tests (audition and interview). These recruitments happened around the time when 150 odd consultants affiliated to the Congress or other UPA constituents were appointed by the national broadcaster. Further, while some anchor-correspondents have finished their respective tenures, they continue to be in service, thanks to their bossesâ€™ generosity. Contracts of Chopra, Sinha, Aggarwal and Mishra ended in February 2014, but they are still on duty! But no one brazened it out as much as News Editor (Assignment) Prakash Pant. He allegedly participated in the campaign of the Aam Aadmi Party in between his duty hours at Doordarshan. When a staffer photographed him with the AAP cap on inside theDD-Newsstudio, and the matter was sent to Information & Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitleyâ€™s notice, the Congress-appointed officers fudged the attendance records promptly to show Pant was on leave! This information was shared with me by a DD News crew member, and substantiated by another.