The Punjab chief electoral officer (CEO) has confirmed 58 cases of paid news of the total of 82 complaints registered in this regard so far.
Of these 52 cases, 14 paid news items were detected in Jalandhar, the highest in the state, so far, for which the CEO would add the money involved to the election expenditure of the candidates concerned.
The money paid for each news item ranges from Rs 15,000 to 20,000 in vernacular newspapers, CEO VK Singh said at a press briefing here.
“We have no regulation on media houses, but we will be sending a comprehensive report on the paid news to the Press Council of India on the completion of the election process in the state,” the CEO added.
Of the 82 complaints registered, for which notices have been served on the respective candidates, Nawanshahr district leads with 28 cases, followed by Ludhiana (10), Jalandhar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Sangrur (9 each), Patiala (6), Rupnagar (5), Amritsar, Bathinda and Gurdaspur (2 each) and Fazilka (1).
VK Singh said he had received a proposal from the Punjab government, seeking the Election Commission of India’s (EC’s) nod to the state for announcing the dear ness allowance (DA) grant, to be disbursed in July this year. “We are yet to send the proposal to the EC,” he said.
In a dampener for Haryana’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which had announced to canvass for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Bathinda, the EC would not allow any outsider to campaign for the candidates. Strict instructions have been issued in this regard to the district electoral officers.
The CEO clarified that mediapersons covering the elections needed to carry the required passes to be issued by the EC authorities, either from the CEO here or from deputy commissioners at the local level.
NO LIQUOR IN PRIVATE PARTIES
The Election Commission has imposed a ban on the serving of liquor at private parties across the state during the last 48 hours of electioneering, till the end of polling on April 30, VK Singh said.