New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday allotted broadcast and telecast time to political parties for carrying out their election campaigns on Doordarshan and All India Radio for coming Assembly Elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
The Commission has decided to extend the equitable time sharing scheme on the 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 polls.
This facility will be available from Regional Kendras of All India Radio and Doordarshan and in the headquarters of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and relayed by other stations within those states.
The EC has said a base time of 45 minutes will be given to each national party and recognised state party uniformly on the Regional Kendra of Doordarshan network and All India Radio network in the two states. The 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 and Time Vouchers will be issued in the denomination of five minutes to each of the six national parties - BJP, Congress, BSP, CPI, CPI-M, and NCP.
While ruling BJP has got the maximum of 191 minutes in Gujarat and 175 minutes in Himachal Pradesh for each of broadcast and telecast, opposition Congress has got 158 and 161 minutes in the two states.
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.
"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 EC said in an order.
In addition to the broadcast by parties, the EC held that Prasar Bharati will organise maximum of two panel discussions and/or debates on the Kendra/Station of DD/AIR and each party can nominate one representative to such a programme. The EC will approve coordinators for such panel discussions/debates.
BSP got 53 telecast and broadcast minutes in Gujarat, 67 minutes in Himachal, while CPI and CPI-M got 45 minutes each in Gujarat and 46 and 47 minutes respectively in Himachal Pradesh.
NCP got 48 minutes of telecast and broadcast time in Gujarat and 45 minutes in Himachal Pradesh.