Dated 27th August, 2014
Dear Mr Sehgal
Please refer to our talks yesterday in presence of Mr Pramod Goswami regarding tenure of our committee. I am forwarding you a communiqué of election officers who conducted and declared last elections results, together with a copy of the Rules of UP State Accredited Correspondent Committee as resolved and finally adopted by our GBM and circulated to all of us before last elections with duly signed by all the then executive committee members and office bearers.
The term of our last executive expired on 10th August 2014 and thus previous committee has become functus officio to operate any further to represent all of us in day to day and policy matter. It is highly inappropriate to grant any privileges in representative capacity to its outgoing office bearers until a fresh mandate is secured by them to legitimise their existence.
Clause 6 (C) of the rules mandates fresh election after two years from the date of its last elections and only general body is competent to amend these Rules; nobody else is competent to do so. It is totally conspicuous misinformation drive to say that the committee has been elected for three years tenure. It is an obvious attempt to unlawfully hold the office despite expiry of its term and subverting our Constitution..
We had requested President Mr Hemant Tiwari and Secretary Mr Siddharth Kalhans time to time to convene executive committee meetings and GBM in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution but they never fulfilled its mandatory requirements and unilaterally and undemocratically took decisions compromising our interests. Last executive committee meeting was convened on 4th April 2013 for organising a Holi Milan programme but despite big planning it was never held. Thereafter no meetings were convened and held to decide future course of our activities to resolve our problems.
The state government has arbitrarily increased tariffs of house rent to the tune of 300-400% for the journalists who have been allotted accommodation in various colonies of estate department that is totally unreasonable, unbearable and unacceptable. During BSP regime too charges of U.P. Bhawan were already rose double from Rs 90.00 to Rs 180.00 and now in present regime further hike of tariff rose to 400% in a one go. It appears that what all is happening is an anti-journalist policies conceivably resulting as an aftermath of adverse media coverage during the last Lok Sabha elections and therefore, in fact an oppressive and retrogressive measures have been resorted to muzzle the freedom of expression of media.
We all wish to lodge our strongest protest to such an arbitrary hike and request its roll-back forthwith in the interest of journalist community. There is growing resentment in media circles against such repressive steps as they are not financially very well of section of our society. Most of the newspaper managements are not paying even statutory minimum wages fixed by new wage board despite its ratification from Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Uttar Pradesh government has not taken any effective steps to implement Supreme Court’s orders to ensure fair payment of wages to journalists and to protect their employment and freedom of speech that is a precondition for the survival of democracy in our nation.
We strongly feel that the outgoing office bearers have very lightly and causally handled such grave matters in a cursory manner with the government of the day and that has resulted to provoke simmering unrest among all of us. In these brewing circumstances we are separately requesting the Secretary of the Committee to call GBM to chalk out election programme as per our Constitution to maintain healthy democratic traditions and expect your government to protect democratic norms of probity.
I humbly request you to kindly also apprise Hon’ble Chief Minister and your other superiors bosses about sensitivity of the situation and our sentiments and seek their intervention to resolve the urgent issues facing journalist community as detailed herein above.
Former Staff Correspondent,
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT &
OUTGOING MEMBER EXECUTIVE
U.P. STATE ACCREDITED CORRESPONDENT COMMITTEE