Karnataka: Govt revokes media ban at Vidhana Soudha, the state assembly

Last Friday, an order was issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms that stated that during legislature sessions and other occasions, media persons cause inconvenience to the public and the staff by blocking the movement of ministers and MLAs.

Following criticism, the Karnataka government on Tuesday withdrew its order restricting the print and electronic media from taking videos and photographs in the corridors of the Vidhana Soudha, with immediate effect.

Last Friday, an order was issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms that stated that during legislature sessions and other occasions, media persons cause inconvenience to the public and the staff by blocking the movement of ministers and MLAs.

The earlier circular has stated that a place at the Kengal Hanumanthaiah Entrance, which is also known as the ‘West Gate’, of the Vidhana Soudha had been designated for the media to take bytes, interviews and other meetings with the media or personal assistants of the minister and MLAs had been directed to make arrangements for the same with the media either in the meeting rooms or ministerial chambers.

Even during the 14-month JD(S)-Congress coalition regime headed by the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, the movement of journalists on the corridors of the Vidhana Soudha was restricted and later it was withdrawn by the government after the Opposition and media criticised the government.

Meanwhile, in 2019, the assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri restricted recording of the Assembly session proceedings. The state assembly secretariat has entrusted Doordarshan alone to cover the assembly proceedings. Private news channels can link themselves to Doordarshan if they wish to show happenings inside the House.

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