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EC says no newspaper ads in Gujarat on Dec 8, 9 without clearance

The newspapers, the commission said, should also be informed against bringing out advertisements which were not cleared by the committee.

GujaratElection2017 Updated: Dec 04, 2017 19:49 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Election Commission,Gujarat polls,Gujarat elections
A BJP supporter wears mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign rally for the state assembly elections, in Surendranagar.(PTI Photo)

The Election Commission on Monday issued directions that no newspaper advertisement be published on December 8 and 9 in poll-bound Gujarat without its prior clearance, a policy the poll panel adopted after controversial ads were issued by the BJP during the 2015 Bihar elections.

The first phase of Gujarat election would be held on December 9 for 89 assembly seats.

In a direction to the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat, the commission said that instances of “advertisements of offending and misleading nature” were brought to its notice in the past.

“Such advertisements in the last stage of election vitiate the election. The affected candidates and parties will not have any opportunity of providing clarification or rebuttal in such cases,” the poll watchdog said.

It said to ensure that no such instance is repeated and no untoward incident takes place because of any “inflammatory, misleading or hate advertisements”, no political party, candidate, organisation or person will bring out ads in the print media on December 8 and 9 unless the contents are pre- certified by Media Certification and Monitoring Committee at the district or state level.

The newspapers, the commission said, should also be informed against bringing out advertisements which were not cleared by the committee.

During Bihar polls, the commission had clamped a ban on publication of two controversial advertisements printed by the BJP in the state.

One of the advertisements alleged that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar were “snatching the plate of Dalits” by planning to transfer the quota meant for Dalits and EBCs to minorities.

Another advertisement dealt with “vote ki kheti” or vote- bank politics. It claimed that the RJD, the JDU and the Congress leaders were “giving sanctuary” to terrorists to appease a particular community for votes.

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 19:49 IST