It is commonly accepted that once the election date is announced, it is illegal to appoint, retire, promote, or transfer people. I was aware that the Election Commission had made an inquiry, but whether it permitted the act [Sharma's dismissal from NTV], only the minister knows.
Until today, I have done nothing illegal. At this point in my life, I don't want to do anything illegal. I didn't feel it was ethical to play with NTV's future by employing incapable people because they had connections. I refuse to kowtow to those who feel that the Communications Ministry belongs to them. Today, it is important to make corporations independent. No one trusts the government media. What little trust is there will be lost if we start employing people on the basis of connections they have. No one should fall prey to government pressure.
Durga Nath Sharma, former general manager, Nepal Television in Nepal Samacharpatra, 17 August
Two years after I was made responsible for running Nepal Television, I have been unceremoniously kicked out, instead of being rewarded for my work, because I did not carry out the orders of Minister [of Information and Communication] Jaya Prakash Gupta.
I tried to ensure that NTV was broadcast to all 75 districts before being transmitted in the west [overseas]. Minister Gupta was pressuring me to take a loan of Rs 100 million to transmit Nepal TV abroad.
I was called to the ministry Thursday. I knew there was going to be a scene and that they were trying to remove me. They asked me about the future plans and progress report of NTV, and said my policy was impractical, and asked why I hadn't sought any loans. My report, based on research by experts, said that Rs 40-50 million was required to set up an earth station. [Tapanath] Shukla said that he could get one for Rs 15 million. I said, go ahead. It was all a drama to try to remove me.
A while ago, Minister Gupta pressured me to get people he was backing into NTV. They'd done badly even in the written test. I didn't want to add points to ensure that incapable people got jobs, and so I lost my job.