The Opposition, which has been vehemently protesting against the Pegasus scandal and the farm laws during the better part of the Monsoon Session of Parliament this year, has accused Lok Sabha TV of cutting out footage of its agitation while broadcasting House proceedings.
Opposition MPs have told Indian Express that while their protests are visible on the TV screens inside the House, the same is not reflected on LSTV.
IE said that on Friday only 72 seconds of the Opposition’s protest was aired on LSTV while the House proceedings, split into two sittings, lasted for a good 45 minutes.
The report said that Opposition Parliamentarians were not in their seats except when Speaker Om Birla paid tribute to the victims of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings and congratulated wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya for his Olympics win. At around 11 am to 11.21 am, members of Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress and Left parties protested in the well of the House amid House proceedings.
Around noon, the Opposition raised slogans when the government passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
While the live telecast of the session reportedly didn’t reveal what exactly happened in the House, sources in LSTV told IE that they do not have access to whatever appears on TV screens inside the Parliament as the same is recorded on CCTVs. According to these sources, LSTV uses a different feed.
“The LSTV transmission is as per the rules which say it should be a true reflection of what’s happening inside the House,” LSTV’s editor-in-chief cum chief executive Manoj K Arora told IE.
Other sources told IE that while the channel gives and overall view of the House proceedings, it is protocol to focus on the Chair or the Prime Minister whenever they speak. The cameras also turn to speakers making a point during question-answer session or those speaking on matters of public importance.
The Opposition has been staging protests inside and outside the House demanding the government to come clear on the Pegasus issue and address the demands of the farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi against three contentious farm laws. The government, in turn, has accused the Opposition, especially the Congress, of disrupting Parliament proceedings on a daily basis for their vested interests.
The Monsoon Session which began on July 19, will wrap up on August 13.