HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday got a taste of new restrictions in the Assembly premises on Monday when a police officer prevented him from giving an interview to a TV channel even after the adjournment of the House.
Mr. Naidu got so furious that he shouted at the officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) P. Hari Kumar, as the woman reporter of the TV channel was pushed and the cameraman accompanying her was pulled back by policemen at the entrance to the Assembly. The reporter had approached Mr. Naidu for comments on the furore that rocked the Assembly over the award of metro rail project to Maytas as he was about to get into his car.
Mr. Hari Kumar brought to the notice of Mr. Naidu the recent restrictions imposed on the media in the Assembly premises. On the reporter’s request, Mr. Naidu told her that the interview could be continued in the adjacent legislature party office of TDP. But Mr. Hari Kumar insisted that media conferences in legislature party offices too were not permitted. An enraged Mr. Naidu sought to know if the Leader of Opposition was supposed to go out of the Assembly premises to talk to the media. He said the police officer had no right to dictate terms to him and asked him to show him the rules that prevented interaction with the media. “You are making a mockery of democracy.”
Mr. Naidu then left in his car and thereafter it was the turn of TDP members Nagam Janardhan Reddy, G. Muddukrishnama Naidu and D. Narendra Kumar to take up cudgels with Mr. Hari Kumar. They alleged that a police rule was being witnessed in Assembly. Hearing the commotion, the crew of a large number of TV channels who are confined to the media point behind the Assembly building rushed to the spot. As they too were prevented from coming to the spot, they staged a dharna protesting against the restrictions imposed on them. They later picked up a heated argument with police officers.
Later, a delegation of TDP led by Mr. Janardhan Reddy met the Speaker to seek action against Mr. Hari Kumar. The Speaker subsequently summoned Mr. Hari Kumar for an explanation.