New Delhi: Senior journalist Anant Bagaitkar has resigned as secretary of the Rajya Sabha Media Advisory Committee, alleging restrictions on mediapersons’ access to Parliament.
In his letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, he said that due to COVID-19, the entry of mediapersons into Parliament Complex was restricted since early 2020.
“When the restrictions all over have been either withdrawn or largely relaxed, the media is still facing restrictions in covering Parliament which is the supreme – highest representative body of the people of India, he said.
Bagaitkar, Chief of Bureau of Marathi daily ‘Sakaal’, said after the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, mediapersons expected normal pre-Covid access to Parliament which was a legitimate and reasonable demand .
But the demand was not accepted and we in the media now got an impression that normal access to Parliament is not possible in near future, he said, adding that he did not see any meaningful purpose to serve on the Committee .
A senior official of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat clarified that the Rajya Sabha Chairman or the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has no role on the entry of mediapersons in Parliament House Complex.
Press gallery passes are being issued to media organisations as per COVID-19 protocol, the official said.
The Media Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha is constituted by the Rajya Sabha Chairman and comprises representatives of various media organisations accredited to the press gallery of the Upper House.
The primary function of the committee is to render advice to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat regarding admission of various media organisations to the press gallery of Rajya Sabha to enable them to cover the proceedings of the House.