Hyderabad: News channel NDTV wrote to the Lok Sabha speaker objecting to the fact that their political affairs editor Sunil Prabhu was denied a parliamentary pass for the last two sessions of the Lok Sabha.
The issue was brought to light in Coomi Kapoor’s article from the Indian Express, wherein she notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has been used as an excuse by the ruling government to limit the number of media personnel from covering Parliamentary sessions. The new rules permit one media person for every media house.
However, Kapoor notes that Sunil Prabhu was not granted the pass for the last two sessions and neither was any reason furnished as to why this was done. Prabhu has covered the Lok Sabha for the last two decades and was responsible for bringing significant stories to light as a result of his proximity to MP’s.
According to the article, the number of scribes in the Parliament has been drastically reduced which critics of the Central government opine was done just to limit the interaction of the MP’s with the press. Countless journalists on social media including the executive editor of News Laundry expressed concern at this trend as the limiting of interaction between the largest legislature and the media, which could result in the lack of transparency.
On Sunday, on the occasion of Independence day, many internet users also took a shot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for their hypocrisy. Speaking from the Red Fort, Modi had said that we should celebrate “Amrit Mahotsav” where the government does not interfere in the life or ordinary citizens unnecessarily.
The irony of his statement could not more obvious given that the fact that Modi’s government has been caught in a snooping row, wherein it is alleged that the Centre purchased ‘Pegasus’, a spyware from NSO, an Israeli group.