The district administration has served notices on Congress candidate from Jalandhar (reserve) parliamentary seat Santokh Chaudhary and SAD-BJP nominee Pawan Kumar Tinu for paid news published in various vernacular newspapers.
While Tinu has got two notices, the Congress candidate has been served one for "favoured news items" that appeared in some newspapers.
This is the first time that the administration has sprung into action to stop paid news culture after reviewing daily coverage of candidates in newspapers.
The candidates have been asked to reply to the notices within next 48 hours, failing which the expenditure of news published will be added to their campaign expanses after calculating rates of Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP).
Formed on the instructions of the Election Commission of India, the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) has been regularly identifying uncertified advertisements by political partied and paid coverage in form of news.
In the past one week, the administration has issued a notice to the All India Radio (AIR) and Radio Mirchi for favouring some political parties. In their reply, the radio channels produced proofs of permission they had got from the state MCM committee.
The committee had issued show-cause notices to two cable channels — Hulchul and Khabarnama — after getting a complaint that the two were favouring candidates through their news programmes.
The MCM committee comprises members of district public relation office's press information bureau (PIB), professors from various city colleges. They work from 24-hour specially- designed rooms and also keep tabs on the activities of candidates on social website Facebook.
Tinu has taken permission from the administration to upload information of his daily activities on Facebook from April 10 onwards till April 28.
Check vehicles of SAD-BJP ministers, MLAs
Congress spokesperson Nimisha Mehta has submitted a complaint to the Election Commission of India for conducting a probe into the cavalcade of SAD-BJP ministers and MLAs as they could be carrying cash ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Mehta has urged the authorities concerned to conduct regular checks of vehicles belonging to ministers and MLAs of both the BJP and SAD.
She demanded that besides leaders, the vehicles of administrative and police officials should also be checked.
"During the last election, a large amount of money was seized from the vehicle of a senior police officer and hence there is a strong possibility that money could be used to influence voters in their favour," she claimed.