New Delhi: Punjab topped in the number of
cases of paid news reported from five states that went to
polls with candidates in 201 instances in the state admitting
to the charge.
According to the Election Commission, a total of 626 cases
of paid news were reported during the just-concluded assembly
polls, of which 523 suspected cases were reported from Punjab
alone and notices were issued in 339 cases.
In 201 cases, candidates accepted the charge of paid news
and agreed to include the amount in their election expenditure
accounts, while in 38 cases candidates have challenged the
decision of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee
(MCMC) set up for monitoring cases of paid news during polls.
In Uttarakhand, 61 notices were issued in as many
suspected cases and 22 candidates admitted to the charge. In
five cases, the MCMC decision has been challenged.
Interestingly in Manipur, no case of paid news has been
reported, while EC is awaiting details from Goa.
In Uttar Pradesh, 38 notices were issued against 42
suspected cases of paid news.