BENGALURU: Free access to photo and video journalists, a tradition maintained in the Vidhana Soudha over decades, has now been stalled citing discipline and security issues. Now, they will not be allowed to take photographs or record videos of ministers or officials in the corridors of the Vidhana Soudha.
Imposing restrictions on media inside the Vidhana Soudha, the State Government on Friday issued a circular banning shooting of videos or taking photographs of ministers or officials in the Soudha corridors.
The circular, issued on the Chief Minister’s directive by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), says that during legislature sessions and on other occasions, media persons recording videos of ministers in the corridors block movement of VIPs and cause inconvenience to the public and the staff.
The circular says that a place at the Kengal Hanumanthaiah Entrance of Vidhana Soudha has been designated for the media. Media persons have been told to shoot videos or photos only this place and not any other places. This has been done to ensure discipline and safety. Personal Assistants of ministers have been directed to convene press conferences or other meetings inside ministers’ offices or in the meeting rooms, failing which action will be taken, the circular reads.
In 2018, when H D Kumaraswamy was Chief Minister, restrictions had been imposed on media persons entering Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha and the Multi-Storeyed Secretariat Building. However, it was revoked after the Opposition and media fraternity slammed the government. Later, in 2019, the BJP government restricted recording the proceedings of the Assembly session. Despite opposition, Assembly Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri took the stand of not allowing videographers and photographers.