Appearing in panel discussions or debates on television news channels within 48 hours of polling can now land candidates in prison for up to two years.
In a recent directive on media coverage during the upcoming assembly polls in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, the Election Commission has said that displaying any ‘election matter’ through television or other means, within 48 hours of polls is prohibited.
The poll panel said that there have been allegations that such panels and discussions by television channels have been used to display ‘election matter’ within 48 hours of elections.
‘Election matter’ has been defined by the commission as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election. Appearing in such discussions could result in imprisonment of up to two years, or fine or both.