New Delhi: The Press Club of India on Thursday urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to lift the restrictions on media covering Parliamentary proceedings that were imposed during the Covid pandemic.
In a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Press Club of India (PCI) said a large number of journalists were still being denied the opportunity to cover Parliament proceedings despite having permanent press gallery passes.
The PCI said the "superfluous" restrictions on media have "no logical basis or rationale" as the Covid situation had eased and even the World Health Organization had announced that it was no longer a global health emergency.
"...we strongly feel that these curbs are part of a wider agenda aimed at controlling the media and restricting freedom of press in order to impede free flow of independent news stories and information to the people of the largest democracy of the world," the PCI said in the letter, which came days ahead of the inauguration of the new Parliament Building on May 28.
It said the restrictions have not only impeded the media's ability to report on parliamentary proceedings but have also severed the vital line of communication between the government, media, and Parliamentarians.
"...as the Covid-19 situation has substantially eased and stabilised and is getting tapered down by each passing day we earnestly appeal to you to take immediate action and restore the pre-COVID-19 situation as regards the entry of media persons into the press gallery of the new Parliament House building," the PCI said.