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EC clears air: BJP to foot NaMo TV bill

The expenses incurred in running NaMo TV,a new cable TV and IPTV channel named after Chief Minister Narendra Modi and designed to promote him,will be added to the poll expenses of the BJP and not that of Modi.

Written by KapilDave | Gandhinagar | Published: October 24, 2012 3:00 am

The expenses incurred in running NaMo TV,a new cable TV and IPTV channel named after Chief Minister Narendra Modi and designed to promote him,will be added to the poll expenses of the BJP and not that of Modi.

Sanjiv Kumar,Additional Chief Electoral Officer in Gujarat,said,“The ECI has clarified that if any star campaigner of any party does any kind of election propaganda through any electronic media (TV,radio or other),even if he or she happens to be a candidate of any constituency,it will be considered as party expenses unless the star campaigner does uses his or her constituency’s name or appeal to vote for him. If the star campaigner uses his/ her constituency’s name,the expense will be counted as his/her personal expense. All such appeals made in media to vote for his/her party in general to the voters will be considered as party expense only.’’

Modi is the most important star campaigner for the BJP in the upcoming election,so going by the EC’s version,any expenses made by him on NaMo TV will be counted as BJP’s expense. The channel received broadcasting clearance from the Election Commission of India about two weeks ago.

Considering complaints lodged by Gujarat Congress,the CEO had sought a clarification from ECI last week. The state BJP had also asked for clarification on the issue a few days ago. Last week,Anita Karwal,Chief Electoral Officer,Gujarat,said,“Expenses of the political party do not come under the expense limits of the candidates. Our role is to take the expense accounts of the party after election. We can only take action if candidates overshoot their expense limit.’’

The EC gave its nod to the launch of the channel after the District Electoral Officer of Ahmedabad,where the channel is headquartered,sought EC’s nod before granting licence to the channel.

A BJP leader said,“As this kind of TV channel is already present in many other states and is considered as party expense,we were sure of the outcome.”

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