Ahead of May 10 Assembly polls, ECI tells political parties to get clearance for print ads

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NEW DELHI: In view of complaints regarding “unverified” claims in political advertisements, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked all political parties and candidates to get “clearance” from the media certification and monitoring committee (MCMC) before publishing any advertisement in the print media on the date of polling and a day prior.

“No political party or candidate or any other organisation or person shall publish any advertisement in the print media on poll day and one day prior to poll day unless the contents of political advertisement are got pre-certified by them from the MCMC committee at the state/district level, as the case may be”, a letter to the political parties dated May 7 said.

The ECI on Sunday also held all major local newspapers in the state responsible for all matters, including advertisements, published in their newspapers. Citing the Press Council of India’s norms for journalistic conduct, the ECI, in a letter said, “An editor shall be responsible for all matters, including advertisements, published in the newspaper. If responsibility is disclaimed, this shall be explicitly stated beforehand”.

It said the political parties that instances of advertisements of an offending and misleading nature published in print media have been brought to the notice of the commission in the past. “Such advertisements in the last stage of the election vitiate the entire election process”, ECI said.

In the advisory to the parties, the poll body also stressed on “clean and serious” campaign for the Karnataka Assembly elections, which is set to end on Monday. The 224-seat Karnataka Assembly will go to polls on May 10 and the counting of votes will take place on May 13. (ANI)

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