Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 1:
Speaker of Odisha Assembly Niranjan Pujari in a ruling issued today on the first day of the winter session of the House barred the media from telecasting /publishing visuals/ photographs of posters, banners and placards shown in the House.
The Opposition, however, has questioned the Speaker’s authority to issue such a ruling and has called it undemocratic and unconstitutional.
“It’s not within the rights of the Speaker to issue such a ruling. Maybe showing of placards inside the House is inappropriate. Whether it’s appropriate on inappropriate is a debatable issue. But that nobody can show placards in the future and that it cannot go the press is the most undemocratic and unconstitutional. There I condemn it,” commented Leader of the Opposition in the Odisha Assembly and senior Congress MLA from Bolangir Narasingh Mishra in his reactions to the media on the Speaker’s ruling.
On many occasions placards and posters are displayed by Opposition members to express their protest on several issues inside the House, often the Chief Minister being the target.
“The people of this state have sent their representatives to this temple- the Assembly by electing them. They have every right to know what is happening there. People of this state have the right to know whatever is discussed or debated there. This kind of ruling by the Speaker is most unfortunate. If the government is under the impression that opposition to the government will not reach the people by preventing its telecast, I am sure by doing that the government will suffer more loss,” said Pradip Purohit BJP MLA from Padampur in his reaction.
Notably, entire proceedings of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha are telecast live whereas only live telecast of Question Hour is allowed in Odisha Assembly.
“This is the opinion of the Speaker, it won’t be appropriate on my part to say anything on that. It has been decided that no member from any political party can display placard in the Assembly. Such display of placards without participating in debates is also not being liked by the general public. Our party wants to debate on issues with the participation of the Opposition in it. Our party is not in favour of such display of placards in the House,” said Pratap Jena BJD spokesperson and MLA from Mahanga.