The Election Commission of India (ECI) Wednesday concluded that the BJP-sponsored NaMo TV cannot display ‘election matter’ during the silence period prescribed in the electoral law in a particular phase of the poll, reported PTI. This phase is particularly called the ‘silence period’ as it allows a voter to make up his or her mind on whom to vote without being influenced by political campaigning.
The Indian Express had reported on Tuesday that the EC had issued directives to the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) that BJP-sponsored NaMo TV will have to comply with the 48-hour ‘election silence’ ahead of every phase of voting. The poll watchdog also informed the Delhi CEO that all expenditure incurred on programmes and advertisements on NaMo TV should be identified appropriately and attributed to candidates or political parties.
As per the latest development, the poll watchdog has now asked the chief electoral officer of Delhi to ensure that its directives are followed in each of the remaining six phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
The directions were issued to the Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh as he is the nodal officer to pre-certify political content in TV channels and similar platforms which are showcased nationally.
According to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, display of any ‘election matter’ by means of ‘cinematograph, television or similar apparatus’ is prohibited 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a particular constituency. Section 126 is not applicable to the print media.
Last week Thursday, the Election Commission had concluded that since NaMo TV is sponsored by the BJP, all recorded programmes displayed on the platform should be pre-certified by media certification and monitoring committee of Delhi and all political publicity contents being displayed without pre-certification should be removed immediately.