New Delhi: Days after the Election Commission pulled the plug on BJP sponsored NaMo TV, the Election Commission on Wednesday mandated that any pre-recorded content cannot be streamed for 48 hours ahead of every phase of polling.
Notably, Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act “prohibits” display of any “election matter” by means of “cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus”, 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a particular constituency. This phase is 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. However, section 126 is not applicable on the print media.
Further, the EC has also asked the chief electoral officer of Delhi to ensure that its directions are followed in each of the remaining six phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The directions were issued to the Delhi CEO as he is the nodal officer to pre-certify political content in TV channels and similar platforms which are beamed nationally. He has also been provided with a committee specifically for the purpose, a source aware of the development said.
On Thursday last week, the EC 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.
(With agency inputs)