In an open letter to all political parties in Parliament, the Press Club of India (PCI) has demanded access to the parliament gallery to cover the proceedings of the parliament.
The letter read, “We have been covering both houses of parliament for the last many decades. However, during the last one year and a half, we are denied access to the press gallery and interactions with the parliamentarians.”
The media houses were earlier informed by the parliament authorities that due to COVID protocols, entry to the press gallery has been denied. The letter reiterated that since the malls, restaurants, cinema halls have reopened, there is no need for such restrictions. The Loksabha speaker assured in a press conference held in the second week of July 2021 that there would be no restrictions on media entry and all permanent passes would be renewed.
The letter further read, “Now, parliament is in its winter season and whatever assurance given to us was not complied with. And adding insult to the injury, new formats of restrictions have been spearheaded to thwart the entry of media persons.”
The journalist’s body expressed their concern by stating that there is a depressing trend emerging to isolate parliament and parliamentarians from the media gaze.
“The trend augurs ill of parliamentary democracy and much against the spirit of our parliamentary democracy. Eventually, we make a humble appeal to take note of such a serious issue that is hurting media persons. We fervently hope that you would get the needful done in this regard,” the letter read.