Jaipur, June 28 As the media continued to boycott the Rajasthan Assembly proceedings for the second day on Friday in the wake of several restrictions imposed on them, the officials broadcast the proceedings live on YouTube, making it first such live telecast on the Internet. A twitter handle has also been created to update information on Assembly proceedings.
Playing down the media boycott, Speaker C.P. Joshi said, “If journalists come, they are welcome. If they do not come, then also they are welcome. The ‘boycott’ just doesn’t matter as we are live on YouTube.”
The Assembly session started on Thursday. However, media personnel who had already been issued passes, were surprised to see that the authorities had specifically restricted their visits to the offices of the Speaker, ministers and other MLAs.
Eventually the media personnel refused to go to the press gallery on the second day too and relied on YouTube to report the proceedings.
The issue of media boycott was raised by BJP MLA Madanlal Dilawar during zero hour. However, the Speaker said that they need not worry as people can watch the proceedings on YouTube.
Later while speaking to the media, he said, “I have taken this decision to maintain discipline in the Assembly. If a journalist wants to talk to any minister or MLA, s/he can give a request slip to the PRO. If a journalist wants to meet a minister, s/he would have to wait for the minister’s consent. I can’t allow blanket coverage of the Assembly for everyone”.
Surprisingly, certain sections of Assembly proceedings which are expunged will also be made available to the people.
Assembly secretary Pramil Kumar Mathur said: “This initiative will help in bringing about transparency in government work. The common man can now listen to the people’s representatives and see if they raise relevant issues”.
A twitter handle has also been created to update information on Assembly proceedings, he said.