Free time to parties for campaigning on DD, AIR

EC allotted broadcast and telecast time to political parties for carrying out their election campaigns on Doordarshan and All India Radio.

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday
allotted broadcast and telecast time to political parties for
carrying out their election campaigns on Doordarshan and All
India Radio for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar
Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa.

The Commission has decided to extend the said scheme of
equitable time sharing on electronic media through Prasar
Bharati Corporation and the use of broadcast and telecast time
will be available only to national parties and recognised
state parties in the upcoming polls.
This facility will be available from Regional Kendras of
the All India Radio and Doordarshan and in the headquarters of
Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa and
relayed by other stations within the respective States.

The EC has said that a base time of 45 minutes will be
given to each national party and recognized state party
(recognized in the respective state) uniformly on the Regional
Kendra of Doordarshan network and All India Radio network in
the poll-bound states.

National and state parties will be treated on par for
assembly elections and additional time to be allotted to
parties has been decided on the basis of poll performance of
parties in the last polls, the EC held.

No party will, however, be allocated more than 15 minutes
in a single session of broadcast. The period of broadcast and
telecast will be between the last date of filing the
nominations and will end two days before the date of poll in
the poll-bound states.

There will, however, be no telecast or broadcast during
the 48 hours preceding the close of polls as per specific
provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

The Prasar Bharati Corporation in consultation with the
Commission will decide the actual date and time for broadcast
and telecast. This will be subject to the broad technical
constraints governing the actual time of transmission
available with the Doordarshan and All India Radio.
The parties will be required to submit transcripts and
recording in advance. The parties can get this recorded at
their own cost in studios, which meet the technical standards
prescribed by the Prasar Bharati Corporation or at the
Doordarshan/All India Radio Kendras, the EC held.

In addition to the broadcast by parties, the EC held that
Prasar Bharati will organise a maximum of two panel
discussions and/or debates on the Kendra/Station of
Doordarshan/All India Radio and each eligible party can
nominate one representative to such a programme.

The Election Commission of India will approve the names of
coordinators for such panel discussions and debates in
consultation with the Prasar Bharati Corporation.

Time Vouchers will be available in the denomination of 1
to 5 minutes with one voucher having time allotment from 1 to
4 minutes and the parties will be free to combine them

Based upon the Commission?s order of December 27, 2011,
time would be allotted on Doordarshan and All India Radio for
broadcast for recognized parties in Uttarakhand.

The time for "Uttrakahand Kranti Dal" (UKD) as per the
existing policy, shall now be divided equally between the
"Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P)" and "Jantantrik Uttarakhand
Kranti Dal" for the ensuing general election to the
Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly, the EC said.

The initiative for state funding of recognized political
parties through free use of state-owned Television and Radio
was introduced under directions of the Commission during the
1998 general elections, which was subsequently extended in all
general elections to state assemblies.

With amendments to the Representation of People Act, 1951
vide "Election and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2003"
and the rules notified thereunder, equitable time sharing for
campaigning by recognized political parties on electronic
media now has statutory basis, the EC said.