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Cong MP Tagore urges LS Speaker to lift Covid curbs on journalists covering Parliament

In the letter to Birla, he said that several journalists, many of whom have been covering Parliament for over a decade, are facing restrictions in the name of COVID-19 protocols.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 09:16 IST

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New Delhi: Senior Congress MP Manickam Tagore on Sunday urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to lift the continuing restrictions on journalists' entry in Parliament, saying it is "adversely impacting the free and fair coverage" of House proceedings.

The Virudhunagar MP shot off a letter to Birla and shared it on 'X' saying "established journalists are being restricted in the name of curbs" and it is time to restore media access and give them their rightful place.

Tagore said the restrictions placed for journalists' entry during Covid-19 pandemic are continuing.

"...the Press plays a crucial role in our democracy by ensuring transparency and holding the government accountable to the people. However, it has come to my attention that several established journalists, many of whom have been covering Parliament for over a decade, are facing restrictions in the name of COVID-19 protocols," he said.

He said he understands the importance of health and safety measures during the pandemic but the continued enforcement of these restrictions is "adversely impacting the free and fair coverage of House proceedings".

Emphasising that journalists who have been accredited for many years possess a deep understanding of Parliamentary procedures and contribute significantly to informed public discourse, he said, "preventing them from accessing the Parliament not only hampers their professional duties but also restricts the flow of accurate information to the public."

In the interest of preserving the democratic ethos of the country, he said, it is imperative that all accredited reporters be allowed to cover the proceedings without any hindrance.

"I urge you to kindly reconsider the current restrictions and allow full access to all accredited journalists. Such a move will reinforce our commitment to a free press and ensure that our democracy remains robust and transparent," Tagore added.

Tagging Tagore's letter, the Press Club of India appealed to all MPs across the political spectrum to raise the issue with the Speaker.

"In India, the Press is regarded as the 4th pillar of democracy and the citizens have every right to know what’s happening in Parliament. To strengthen democracy, it is necessary to allow full access to journalists, who have been covering the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha," it posted on 'X'.

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Published 30 June 2024, 09:16 IST

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