BENGALURU: Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Friday said that videographers and photographers from the media will not be allowed to cover the proceedings of the state legislative assembly and council that will be held between February 17 and March 31. Opposition parties, the JDS and Congress, slammed the government move restricting media coverage of the assembly proceedings. Such restrictions were in place even during the last legislature session and the government had promised to have a re-look at the decision.
Kageri told reporters that the state legislature is adopting the same procedure as Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during Parliament sessions. Though he was questioned repeatedly, the Speaker kept saying that they are only following the Parliament system. “We are not hiding anything and we will provide everything to the media,’’ he said. Former Minister and JDS leader H D Revanna and Congress members slammed the State Government and Speaker for imposing the restrictions.
Kageri had earlier said that they were not censoring any information or hiding anything, and that live telecast would neither be blocked nor edited. Video recordings would have the entire proceedings. “At Speakers’ conferences, there have been discussions on upholding the dignity and image of the House. At such forums, suggestions have been made on running the House on the lines of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,” he had said.
Kageri on Friday said that the session will start on February 17 with Governor Vajubhai Vala addressing a joint session. For the first four days, members will be allowed to discuss the governor’s speech. On March 2 and March 3, discussions will be held on the Indian Constitution.
On March 5, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is also the finance minister, will present the budget. This time, the session will be held for 25 days. He said that the government is introducing six bills, including Karnataka the Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Karnataka Muncipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.