Journalists from various Kannada news channels and national media staged a demonstration in Bengaluru on Thursday against the Karnataka assembly Speaker, Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri‘s decision to impose media restrictions within the assembly proceedings.
Previously on Thursday, an official release by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Secretary had said that now only Doordarshan will be allowed to broadcast the feed. Angered over the orders, the journalists met the Speaker at his chamber in Vidhana Soudha. They have been reported to submit a memorandum, urging the Speaker to revert back his decision. However, the Speaker has been reported to stand by his decision. He had said that the decision was taken in accordance with the rules.
Protesting journalists and media persons claimed that the decision will not give people the access to watch what their representatives are doing inside the assembly.
Speaking on the matter, Assembly secretary MK Vishalakshi said that there has been no such restrictions therefore the allegations are baseless. She also said that the speaker has opted for such a decision on an experimental basis just for three days. She further added that the media is still allowed to take the soundbytes.
Present Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa also said that he will urge the speaker to reconsider his decision. He posted a tweeted message conveying his stand, “My government is always committed to freedom of media. I will make a sincere effort and request speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri to reconsider his decision on barring media from telecasting the house proceedings.”
Various opposition parties have also expressed their anger over the Speaker’s decision. Congress party had termed the incident as ‘shameful’. Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also iterated his views and said that the ruling government is committing a mistake by imposing such restrictions.