**Bhubaneswar:** The war of words between the ruling Biju Janata Dal and OTV, reached a new level of bitterness today after the party declared to boycott the regional channel completely.
“OTV has lost its credibility. The programmes telecast on the channel are centred around the tweets and opinions of Baijayant Panda. This perspective of OTV has developed after Panda was suspended from BJD,” party Spokesperson Pratap Deb said.
Addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday Deb said that on social media forums the public has also criticized OTV’s format of reporting. “Why is it so that the tweets and perspectives of a particular MP are being highlighted. There are other MPs also who are active on social media,” the Rajya Sabha Member said.
Deb added that BJD workers have been regularly posing questions on the party spokespersons and requesting the latter not to participate in the panel discussions of OTV. “We believe and have all regards for all forums of media but keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, BJD has decided to refrain from the discussions on OTV,” Deb said.
The BJD spokesperson added, “however if we notice that OTV maintains an unbiased stand in its programmes and discussions, the BJD will resume its participation in the regional news channel.
On the other hand, OTV has clarified that none of its shows or panel discussions are one-sided. “OTV is committed to free fair and unbiased reporting, everyone is given equal opportunity to present their views. Many a times BJD panelists have declined to participate in OTV shows,” the channel tweeted on its official Twitter handle.
While the terms between Panda’s family-run channel and BJD were already sour, it has been over a month, OTV has been campaigning against the regional party and the Chief Minister’s Office. However, now it seems, the BJD will not cow down to the regional news channel anymore.
It is noteworthy that the BJD had moved the State Election Commission against OTV in the recently concluded Bijepur by-polls alleging biased reporting.