Oppn demands entry of journalists into Odisha assembly, Lok Seva Bhawan

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Opposition BJP and Congress on Thursday demanded the Odisha government to allow journalists into Lok Seva Bhawan (state Secretariat) and Assembly press gallery and lobby for news coverage.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Assembly, Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra said: “Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. However, they have denied entry into the state Secretariat or Lok Seva Bhawan and Assembly lobby, which is detrimental to democracy.”

Why has the government restricted entry of media into the Lok Seva Bhawan and assembly lobby? he asked. It is needed for a journalist to talk to the MLAs and collect information from them during the assembly sessions, Mishra said outside the House.

Joining Mishra, BJP chief whip Mahon Majhi said, “It is true that the journalists are maintaining neutrality. The Covid-19 situation has also improved a lot and the Centre has also revoked the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.”

Let’s allow the journalists to enter the Assembly press gallery and Lok Seva Bhawan to cover news, Majhi demanded in the House.

Commenting on this issue outside the House, state Information and Public Relation Minister Raghunandan Das said this matter comes under the purview of the home minister.

“Though the home minister has not made any specific statement on this issue in the House, I hope this issue will be resolved soon,” Das said.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state government has imposed restrictions on entry of journalists into the Secretariat or Lok Seva Bhawan and the order still continued even though the situation has improved significantly.

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