Restrictions have been imposed on the movement of journalists in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly building.
Under the new arrangement, journalists will not be able to meet the presiding officer, the leader of the opposition and MLAs. They will be mostly confined to the media room and the press gallery, say journalists about the restrictions which have not been put in writing but conveyed verbally.
Commenting on the development, Rameshwar Sharma, BJP MLA, said, "The government has pushed the fourth pillar of the government further back. This is all the legacy of the Emergency. The government should rather restrict their own workers who routinely break the decorum of the house,"
"We will take this matter up with the presiding officer of the house. Press is the fourth pillar of our democracy and there should be no barrier between us." said another BJP MLA, Bhupendra Singh.
Madhya Pradesh Home minister Bala Bachchan, on the other hand, deflected media queries to the presiding officer of the house. When asked about the decision restrictions on journalists, he said," You will get a better response if you talk to him. I will also discuss the issue with the honourable Speaker."
One of the journalists covering the Assembly, Shubham Gupta, asserted that the earlier arrangement was much better as the journalists were able to talk to the lawmakers freely.
"Now, with the new arrangement, we are seeing that the journalists are begging for news. We will request the presiding officer that the earlier arrangement should be restored." He further added.
( With inputs from ANI )