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Press

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The election to the Press Club of India finally ended today with one thousand seven hundred journalists voting from 10 AM to 6 PM. As compared to the last year, this time 250 more members voted and it is being believed that this enhancement may be due to the enrollment of fresh members.

However, both the camps i.e. the Lahiri and Sen panels are keeping their fingers crossed till the final results come out on Sunday, the 26th November evening but observers say that it was more or less a mix voting trend, totally unpredictable as the contest was neck to neck. Whatever may be the final outcome of this prestigious annual poll but one thing is for sure that the club did a massive business today with PCI members and their fellow beings thronging the club in large numbers, since afternoon.

The liquor, tea, snacks and lunch were open for the whole day finally dinner in the evening obviously leading the club to make tremendous profits out of the record sale. The elections of press club of India is an annual feature which is an opportunity for journalistic fraternity to meet their old friends at least on this day for sure. Prominent among those who voted in this election were the editor in chief of India TV Rajat Sharma, Chief editor and anchor of India News Deepak Chaurasia, popular TV Anchor Ajit Anjum, former AAT Tak Anchor Deepak Sharma, veteran journalist and octogenarian Vishva Bandhu Gupta, former Railway minister and veteran journalist Ajay Singh, NDTV Anchor and popular journalist Ravish Kumar, former CBI spokesman and Press Secretary to former president Dr. Abdul Kalam Mr. Khan, Pankaj Vohra, Punya Prasoon Vajpayee of AAJ Tak and others.

A large number of journalists of print and electronic media were seen campaigning and voting for their respective panels. The significance of the PCI election is that while during this period the membership of all the journalists enrolled to this body gets renewed i.e. the balance if any is cleared and the club do a hefty business as well through the sale of liquor and food stuff. The current panel of Lahiri, Bharti, Vinay n Mahua is on the saddle since 2010 and each time which ever panel had contested against them has lost.

This would be their eighth victory in succession if they win though what happens on Sunday after the counting session in the evening, is anybody’s guess. However, the contest between both the panels have been very competetive and nothing outrightly can be predicted as to who’s going to win and who’s to lose.
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum
Member, Press Club of India

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Hundreds of journalists from all over the country today registered their protest by forming a long human chain outside Press Club Of India and finally silently marching to the office of the Indian Women Press corps at Windsor place addressed by the Secretary General of the PCI Vinay kumar and others.

The journalists hailing from various media organisations were protesting against the recent lynchings of journalists viz. Gauri Lankesh, Shantanu Bhowmick, KJ Singh and Prashant Mishra and several others who were murdered during their line of duty during the last several years with not a single killer, except a negligible few brought to justice.

Holding play cards condemning assault on freedom of press and writing and demanding immediate arrests of the killers of the journalists while covering news and views during the line of duty hundreds of scribes from Delhi and other states looked furious and angered over the increasing attack on media freedom and physical assaults on mediamen nationally.

The senior journalist and news anchor Rajdeep Sardesai while strongly condemning the obnoxious incidents of increasing physical assaults and murders of journalists said that time has come now that the entire journalistic fraternity of the country should stand united and emphatically and strongly oppose the blatent attack on media freedom.

Sardesai said whether they are the recent brutal killings of Gauri Lankesh and other journalists or smashing of OB vans and grievous injuring of journalists by the goons of DERA SACHA SAUDA or police atrocities in other parts of the country the journalists have these days become the easy targets of the unholy nexus of politicians, those at the helm, fanatic fundamentalists and the police.

This has to be outrightly stopped and culprits/ the perpetrators of violence on scribes should be curtailed at all costs. This protest on Gandhi Jayanti has been organised in ten states of the country on 2nd October that includes Delhi, Gujarat, Jaipur and the entire North East.

After the conclusion of the protest demonstration and the human chain march a decision has been taken that a memorandum will be submitted to the union home minister Rajnath Singh on 5th October jointly by the office bearers of all the press clubs of India with hundreds of signatures of journalists of Delhi and other parts of the country demanding enactment of a special legislation for the protection and adequate financial assistence to the families of the deceased journalists compounded with submission of the report of the action taken in the cases of journalists assaulted and killed all over the country during the last two decades. Meanwhile the PCI secretary general Vinay Kumar announced that the representatives from all the press clubs of India representing various states of the country and several media organisations active in Delhi will unitedly protest at PCI, Raisina Road, New Delhi on 5th of October and present a memorandum to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with various demands and suggestions for the protection and welfare of the families of deceased journalists.

SUNIL NEGI