Mediamen barred from Vidhana Soudha till 11 am

Mediamen barred from Vidhana Soudha till 11 am

Entry to Vidhana Soudha for mediapersons was barred from 9 am to 11 am on Monday, reportedly to facilitate a demolition work at one of its rooms.

As on any working day, mediapersons went to the secretariat building on Monday, but the police personnel manning the gates refused to let them in.

None of them came forward to explain the reason for imposing the new restriction, while sources in the police department said Minister Anjaneya had instructed them not to allow media representatives till 11 am, so that the work at his office would be completed.

After 11 am, when journalists tried to see the alterations made in Room 340, where a wall connecting to the next chamber was brought down on Sunday, the entry was barred and the doors and windows were closed. However, some photographers managed to peep through a ventilator and got glimpse of the work in progress.

When asked about the new rules, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, at the KPCC office, told reporters: “What work you have in the Vidhana Soudha before 11 am? No minister comes before 11 am.”

When reporters clarified that they visit the secretariat to meet not just ministers but also officials, Siddaramaiah said: “Let me see.”

Criticism

The BJP took a dig at the ministers and legislators who ventured to make alterations to the heritage structure. BJP Spokesperson Suresh Kumar said that the chief minister, with his silence, approved Anjaneya’s action.

“Former BJP MLA Shankar Munekoppa and even their own minister Ramanath Rai were questioned by people for razing to the ground the walls of the offices at the Vidhan Soudha. Siddaramaiah himself had raised a ruckus over Munekoppa’s actions. Why is he silent now?” he said. On restricting the entry of mediapersons, he said the Congress is known for encroaching the freedom of press.

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