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Opposition UDF tears media circular; stages walkout from Ker Assembly

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

The Congress-led

opposition UDF Thursday staged a walkout from the Assembly dissatisfied over the government's assurance to make necessary amendments to a controversial circular, which allegedly gags the media.

Demanding a discussion and withdrawal of the circular, the Opposition tore away copies of the order of the home department and walked out.

A recent circular issued by the department had put in place a set of guidelines regarding media's interaction with the chief minister, cabinet ministers and celebrities within the Secretariat and in other public places.

of the Opposition questioned the motive of the department, which issued the circular on a subject which apparently comes under the Information and (I&PRD).

"This circular is a draconian one. This is against the freedom of the press. The government must hold discussions with the opposition and How can a state like regulate the media?" he said.

However, Industries E P Jayarajan, who replied to the adjournment motion in the absence of Pinarayi Vijayan, said the circular had been "misinterpreted" and there were no restrictions on the media.

"parties have always fought for press freedom. When media was being attacked by the Sangh Parivar forces, it was parties who were in the forefront to defend the media," he said.

The pointed out that the was not going to curtail the and would make necessary amendments in the circular.

He said the matter had been brought up by the Opposition as they were facing a dearth of issues to be raised against the

MLA K C Joseph, who moved the motion, sought a discussion and said the circular was "unfortunate".

He said the was behind the restrictions on media and it was the present government which had ended the custom of press briefing after the weekly cabinet meetings.

"Why is the issuing a circular and interfering in the functioning of the I&PRD? This order must be withdrawn," Joseph said.

The LDF government, however, was not in a mood to allow the discussion without the in the House and told the opposition that it will consider the motion for discussion later.

The dissatisfied opposition leaders then tore the circular and staged a walkout.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 15:25 IST