Free time to parties for campaigning on DD, AIR
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 23:36
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 suitably.

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.


First Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 23:36

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