If you spot Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal or his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Bannerjee in the Parliament complex, don’t rush to say ‘hello’ or click their pictures, at least not without permission. This is part of the guidelines issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat for TV reporters and photographers.
If they do, they run the risk of getting suspended from covering Parliament for two days.
Ahead of the winter session of Parliament from Wednesday, the press and public relations wing of the Lok Sabha secretariat issued an exhaustive set of ‘dos and don’ts’ for the media, which includes not interacting with anyone who is not a minister or a member of Parliament without prior permission.
“Media persons will not interact/interview/photograph anyone else other than ministers/members of Parliament without permission from the press & public relations wing,” say the guidelines issued on Wednesday.
Parliament officials, however, say there is nothing new about these guidelines.
According to the guidelines, mediapersons are forbidden to talk — without permission of the PR staff — to former MPs or ministers, CMs, MLAs and prominent personalities who visit the Parliament complex.
Journalists will also have brush up on what they can and can’t do while covering the proceedings in Parliament. They are supposed to take reactions from or interview MPs at earmarked places only. “Reporters may take prior appointments with ministers/MPs and request them to approach the designated media stands for interviews/reactions.”
Designated areas for mounting camera and recording bites will be sacrosanct and speaking to MPs or ministers on or off the record elsewhere is forbidden.