Chaos at Secretariat as AAP govt bans media entry

New Delhi: The second working day of the Aam Aadmi Party government at the Delhi Secretariat was virtually lost to chaos with the media boycotting a press conference following an initial decision to ban reporters inside the premises, which was, however, later on lifted in the evening.

Entry by mediapersons was restricted to the media centre and they were not allowed to visit the rooms of ministers and other offices inside the secretariat.

Even PIB accredited journalists were denied entry. Ratnesh Mishra, Chairman of the Delhi Press Accreditation Committee, slammed the move as unfortunate. "It has never happened in the past that the media was banned from entering the secretariat premises," he said.

 Chaos at Secretariat as AAP govt bans media entry

Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

A press conference called by Satyendra Jain, the minister in charge of Health and Industries, was boycotted by the media.

Jain, who was supposed to open the briefing at 12 noon, reached the venue at around 2.30 pm and had to face the wrath of the mediapersons who demanded an explanation for the ban.

The debate between the reporters and the newly-elected minister became more strident when Jain said, "I have no interest in holding a press conference".

However, he immediately apologised for the remark. "I apologise for the inconvenience caused because of me or my party. I have no clue who has ordered the ban," Jain said.

Later, with a view to controlling the situation, the PWD, Urban Development and Education Minister, Manish Sisodia, came to the AAP's rescue, saying, "Access for the media wouldn't be less, in fact, (it would be) more than what it was under the earlier government".

Sisodia held an informal meeting with the journalists and finally the issue was sorted. Thereafter, at a brief meeting with the media, Sisodia said that the ban on their entry into the Secretariat was being lifted.

PTI

Updated Date: Dec 31, 2013 02:36:48 IST