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Karnataka Speakers plans to ban private TV channels from covering session

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Bengaluru, Oct 09: Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Wednesday announced a ban on live streaming of assembly proceedings by TV news channels.

However, private news channels can link themselves to Doordarshan if they wish to show happenings inside the House.

Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri

"Don't call it restriction. On an experimental basis, Speaker (Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri) is making arrangements to provide link to everyone (news channels) through Doordarshan. It will start from tomorrow," Vishalakshi told PTI.

"Media can still take the soundbytes," she added.

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy alleged that such a move was recommended by the police department when he was the chief minister. Police department had recommended not to allow private news channels to cover the proceedings of the assembly but I did not agree," Kumaraswamy told reporters.

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The congress described the move as a "shameful act." "..While in opposition BJP used to shed crocodile tears for Free media.. @BSYBJP had threatened to go on dharna for freedom of press. When in power media has been barred from streaming the assembly session, such a shameful act," the Karnataka unit of the congress tweeted.

But why the government has taken such a move? There is no clarity. However, it may be recalled that Laxman Savadi, one of the deputy chief minister of BJP led Karnataka government is infamous for being caught watching porn at work.

Laxman Savadi, then a BJP minister, was caught on camera watching porn on his mobile phone during Assembly proceedings in 2012. C.C. Patil and Minister for Ports and Environment Krishna Palemar were also part of the act.

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