After the Election Commission (EC) stated that the BJP-sponsored NaMo TV will have to comply with the 48-hour election silence before every phase of voting, the BJP has said that they were not violating any rule as they were only running pre-certified content on the channel.
After the EC’s letter clarifying the same, a direction to comply with Section 126 (i)(b) of the Representation of The People Act was sent to the BJP by the office of the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). The section prohibits display of any “election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus” in the 48 hours before the conclusion of polls in a constituency.
The BJP, in its response, said NaMo TV was not doing anything illegal as it was following all EC guidelines and only running content which was pre-certified by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), an official said.
“They have said there is no violation of Section 126 (i)(b) as they are only airing content which is compliance with the MCC and the RP Act,” an official told The Indian Express.
Election officials had earlier told The Indian Express that NaMo TV will not be allowed to air any election publicity matter, including pre-recorded speeches of the PM, during the poll silence period.
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The EC had also clarified in its letter that as far as live coverage of events in areas where campaigning was in progress, prohibition under Section 126 can only relate to a “direct reference” to a constituency or candidate which is in the 48-hour period.
To this, the BJP has responded saying that would make sure that any live telecast does not mention the name of a candidate or constituency going to polls in the next 48 hours.
On April 11, the EC had said that NaMo TV was sponsored by a political party and all content on the TV channel should be “removed immediately” as it did not have prior certification. Following this, the party was asked to take down non-certified content by the Delhi CEO’s office.