The Election Commission on Thursday said that of the 368 notices that had been served on candidates for having allegedly paid to get news published or broadcast, as many as 198 cases had been confirmed as those of paid news.
“Our Media Certification and Monitoring Committees have confirmed and established 198 cases as those of paid news,” Election Commission’s Director General (Awareness) Akshay Rout said, adding that while some of the candidates have acknowledged that they paid for news, some others were contesting this and their cases were under process.
All the 60 notices that were issued in Uttar Pradesh have been confirmed by the EC as those of paid news. In Haryana, 25 of the 41 notices have been confirmed as paid news while 23 of the 32 notices issued in Karnataka have been confirmed as paid news. Out of the 17 notices issued in Orissa, 14 have been confirmed as those of paid news. Similarly, 22 of the 62 notices in Andhra Pradesh, 13 of the 28 notices in Rajasthan, four of the 66 notices in Maharashtra and six of the nine notices in Delhi, have been confirmed as those of paid news.
The MCMCs set up by the EC at local levels are already processing these cases. Candidates who acknowledge that they paid for news will have to add these expenses to their expenditure registers.
With 232 parliamentary constituencies having already voted and another 311 set to vote in the next four weeks, officials in the EC said dozens of complaints pertaining to paid news were pouring in every day.