Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien on Thursday said that protests in Parliament during the ongoing Winter Session should not be censored on television, ANI reported.
“I would, on behalf of TMC, like to humbly appeal to the presiding officers of both Houses to rectify television coverage,” he said.
O’Brien’s statement came amid protest from Opposition leaders over several matters and subsequent adjournments in both Houses of Parliament over the last three days.
“All protests are censored on the TV and we demand this censorship to be stopped, Parliament cannot be converted into a closed chamber,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress has been campaigning for the restoration of all facilities to journalists who cover the proceedings in Parliament.
The Centre had restricted the entry of mediapersons to Parliament early in 2020 since the outbreak of Covid-19. Journalists cannot access media galleries in the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and Central Hall.
For two days a week, reporters are permitted to be on the Parliament premises, but they have no access to the proceedings.
On Thursday, the Trinamool Congress in a statement said that a free and robust media was “the soul of parliamentary democracy”. The party added: “Right to free speech, freedom of expression and thought are the foundations of a vibrant democracy.”
The party also pointed to the fact that India ranked 142 on the World Press Freedom Index that evaluated 180 nations in 2021. Media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières in April had said that India was classified as “bad” for journalism since journalists were exposed to “every kind of attack”.
On Thursday, the Trinamool Congress claimed that the physical abuse of journalists was the reason why India ranked low on the press freedom index.