UP MLA under EC scanner over 'paid news' issue



New Delhi: After Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, an MLA in Uttar Pradesh assembly has come under the scanner of the Election Commission on the issue of "paid news".

Umlesh Yadav, Rashtriya Parivartan Dal MLA from Bisauli constituency in UP, was served a notice by the EC following a complaint by one of her rivals that she resorted to "paid news" in the 2007 assembly polls.

Her rival, Yogendra Kumar, had filed complaints against two Hindi dailies Amar Ujala and Dainik Jagran alleging that they had carried news items to favour Yadav in the form of an advertisement taking some money in lieu thereof.

The Press Council which went into the complaint, held the two newspapers "guilty of ethical violations" and cautioned the media to refrain from publishing news masquerading as advertisements and vice versa, the EC said in its press note.

The decision of the Press Council was referred to the EC to whose notices the two dailies admitted that the material of the advertisements were not collected by the journalists but were furnished by the advertisers "that is the candidate Umlesh Yadav".

The EC which went into Yadav's poll expenses found that they did not reflect the "true account of expnditure incurred by the candidate" and the money spent on the advertisements was "not accounted for".

Such a violation attracts disqualification for a period of three years under the Representation of People Act, it said.

The Commission asked Yadav to give her reply within seven days, it said.

The EC has already served a notice to the Mahrashtra Chief Minister following a complaint by the BJP alleging that he had resorted to paid news during the assembly polls last year. The hearing in the case will come up before the poll panel on July nine.

PTI