UP Assembly: Opposition raise query on media working away from press gallery

Opposition parties in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Thursday raised the issue of media persons not being allowed to cover the proceedings from the press gallery citing the coronavirus pandemic and urged the Speaker to take a decision in this regard for proper coverage.
Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit said the arrangements for media had been made elsewhere because of the pandemic and soon a decision in this regard would be taken.
An arrangement has been made in Tilak Hall inside Vidhan Bhawan premises for the media persons where two giant screens have been put up showing the proceedings of the House to facilitate its coverage.
Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary raised the matter after the Governor’s address to the joint session of both the houses.
“Why is the press sent so far from the Assembly? Is the COVID-19 only for journalists? Does it (coronavirus) not infect the MLA, MLC, CM, Speaker and Leader of Opposition?” Chaudhary said in the Assembly.
BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma and Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Misra also supported Chaudhary and demanded that media personnel should be allowed to cover Assembly proceedings from the press gallery.
Dikshit said when the House was convened for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of homework was done on the seating arrangement of legislators and media persons. It was in agreement with the media persons that a separate arrangement should be made for them, he said.
Verma and Misra said that some media persons could be allowed in the gallery for facilitating proper coverage of the proceedings to which the Speaker said that it would be discussed in the business advisory committee meeting.