If it weren’t such a serious issue, we would be bemused at the Delhi assembly getting incensed over a Times of India scoop, based on data from the legislature’s own website, about how few sittings there have been of the body. ToI reported that the house met for all of 20 days in 2007 and did business for 62 hours.
While ToI probably expected Delhi’s taxpayers to be outraged, it was Delhi assembly members who, almost unanimously, took umbrage, issuing a breach of privilege and contempt notice to the editor and the relevant reporter. The facts don’t seem to be in dispute —the MLAs claim the paper shouldn’t have ignored all the work they apparently do outside the assembly. By this strange logic, Mint, which ran a 16-day series recently, calculating how much of Indian taxpayers’ money (Rs9.37 crore) was “wasted” in the winter session of Parliament, ought to have been in even more serious trouble over the privileges of our elected representatives. The Delhi assembly can spend its time—and citizens’ money—on more vital matters than fighting facts.