You could soon hear the election campaign on your favourite FM channel.
The Election Commission has decided to allow political ads on private radio channels and asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to amend the relevant laws.
The decision came on a request from the I&B Ministry, which had wanted the EC to allow radio to use political ads like private TV channels do.
With the EC's green signal, the Ministry will have to amend the AIR code (Code for Commercial Advertising on All India Radio) to allow political campaign slots with the condition being that the ads cannot malign rival parties.
Radio operators are looking forward to the development as their revenues are likely to shoot if they carry political ads.
The EC agreed with the view of the
I&B ministry that since TV channels are allowed to carry campaign ads following a Supreme Court order, FM channels too should be allowed to so.
The EC stopped political ads radio and TV in February 2004 citing the AIR code and the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, which prohibited political ads.
Later, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, arguing broadcasters should be treated on a par with the print media. The apex court delivered a verdict in support of the TV channels. The radio was not covered.