Ban on private TV covering state Assembly to continue: Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri

Team Udayavani, Feb 15, 2020, 9:31 AM IST

Bengaluru: The bar on media from telecasting House proceedings will continue during the coming session also and the public broadcaster like in the previous session will provide live feed to private TV channels, Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said on Friday.

The first legislature session of the year 2020 will begin on February 17, with Governor Vajubhai Vala addressing the joint sitting of legislative assembly and council on the first day.

“It has been discussed several times that system needs to be implemented in legislative assemblies of all the states, in line with the model adopted in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Several states have been following it, so in our state also, a decision has been taken regarding the electronic media,” Kageri told reporters here in response to a question.

When it was pointed out that he has in the past said such a restriction was on experimental basis, he said Karnataka like other states has implemented the system that is in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

“As Speaker of Karnataka assembly I have tried to implement what is in Parliament and other states,” he said, adding that there was no difference of opinion that transparency has to be maintained about the proceedings.

“We are committed to maintaining it,” he asserted. During the session in October last year, Kageri had imposed restrictions on camera persons, both electronic and print media, from covering the proceedings. Instead, Doordarshan provided live feed to private TV channels. The move drew criticism from various quarters, with the Congress and JD(S) terming it as “fatal” for democracy.

Journalists and camera persons even staged a demonstration condemning the the Speaker’s decision to bar media from telecasting House proceedings.

Following criticism over the move, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa gave an assurance he will speak to the Speaker, and try to convince him. The session, which will commence on Monday, will conclude on February 20.

The budget session will commence on March 2, with presentation of the state budget by Yediyurappa on March 5 and conclude on March 31. This will the first budget of the BJP government after coming to power last year.

For Yediyurappa, who holds the Finance portfolio, this will be his fifth budget presentation. Kageri said, on March 2 and 3, a special discussion on the Constitution has been scheduled in the backdrop of the 70th year of the adoption of the Indian Constitution in November last year, as it could not be held due to bypolls in the state.

Stating that he has held discussions with senior legislators besides leaders of the opposition and ruling side, about this, he said it will focus on the intent, specialty of the constitution, so that the legislators study and understand it, even better.

“Hope that the discussion will be above party politics, without giving any room for political blame game,” he said.

The speaker also said he will hold discussions with leaders of political parties in this regard during the Business Advisory Committee meeting, once the session starts. However, he did not wish to comment on apprehensions that issues like the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) could overtake the debate on the constitution.

It is also gathered that Speaker has convened a special session to mark the 70th year of the Constitution on March 2-3 ahead of the state budget for fiscal 2020-21 on March 5.

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