TV ban: Speaker firm, says it's a pilot exercise

The legislature session kicked off on Thursday with news channels boycotting coverage of the proceedings, following Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri’s decision to bar their cameras inside the Assembly.

A petition signed by journalists was handed over to the Speaker, who maintained that he was firm on his decision for this session at least, as a pilot exercise akin to the system prevalent in Parliament.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa found himself in knots, after he deleted a tweet in which he said he would urge the Speaker to reconsider his decision. 

Meanwhile, condemning the decision of the Speaker, journalists' groups will stage a protest in front of Gandhi Statue at Maurya Circle, on Friday.

While TV cameramen and photographers were barred from recording the Assembly proceedings, they had little trouble in the Council, where they were allowed to record.

Yediyurappa's tweet, which was deleted quickly, also attracted controversy with the journalists' associations questioning whether the chief minister and the Speaker were on the same page with regard to the ban.

The chief minister had tweeted an hour before the session commenced saying, "My government is always committed to the freedom of the media. I will make sincere efforts and request Kageri to reconsider his decision on barring media from telecasting the proceedings." However, the tweet was deleted shortly after, attracting the wrath of journalists.

The Opposition Congress also raised the issue in the floor of the House, alleging that the Speaker was trying to scuttle democracy.

 

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