Amid continuing boycott by the electronic media of the state government and ruling BJP events over alleged restrictions on Karnataka assemmbly coverage, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said efforts would be made to end the ‘deadlock’ soon.
Government cannot function without publicity from the media, we too have our concern with you (media) on the issue on certain matters… we will make all efforts to end the deadlock as soon as possible, Bommai told reporters here. He was responding to journalists from Kannada news channels who raised the issue at a press conference addressed by him and Sugar Minister C T Ravi and said they would not be able to cover the news conference until there was a solution.
The journalists highlighted that restrictions were not limited to the assembly alone but also near the Chief Ministers residence and at certain government functions. Why should electronic media cooperate with BJP? When you are not cooperating with us, how can you expect cooperation from us, a senior TV journalist asked.
During the recent brief session of the assembly, only the Doordarshan was allowed to telecast the proceedings by Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri. An order issued by the Assembly Secretariat had said private news channels can take the DD feed if they wish to show the House proceedings.
The matter kicked up a storm with the media and opposition accusing the government of ‘restricting’ private channels from covering the proceedings. Journalists and camerapersons had staged a demonstration condemning the decision of the Speaker while Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah had said restriction of media was fatal for democracy.
Minister Ravi said the assembly came under the purview of the Speaker and not under the direct control of the government. “We have understood your feeling and we will talk to the Speaker in our personal capacities. As a party we are with the sentiments of the press.” Hitting out at opposition parties over their stand on the issue, Ravi said some of our opposition friends speak one thing in private and other in public. I have heard many of them saying that the move is right, but publicly saying it is like emergency.”
He also pointed out to the Speakers statement saying the move was on pilot basis for three day session and any further implementation will be after due consultation.