Air time row: EC seeks details from Prasar Bharati
The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday directed Prasar Bharati to furnish details of coverage time it allotted to political parties during its news bulletins on Doordarshan’s national and news channels.
The EC directive comes on a complaint filed by the Congress, which claimed Doordarshan had been giving more coverage to the BJP and its allies.
The Congress felt excess coverage of a particular party, especially during the poll process, could be of tremendous advantage to it considering the vast reach of Doordarshan, EC sources said. It urged the EC to act fast as three phases of polling were yet to be completed.
The EC summoned Prasar Bharati CEO K.S. Sarma and other top Doordarshan officials. It directed Prasar Bharati to submit a detailed reply by Friday evening.
Sources said Prasar Bharati would give a comparative analysis of how much footage it gave to various political parties.
“Prasar Bharati should not act as an official media agency for the government and strike a balance in its political coverage,” a top EC official said.
However, sources admitted that Doordarshan might have faltered on this issue and given more coverage to the NDA, particularly to L.K. Advani’s yatra.
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* The EC termed as ‘vague’ Chandrababu Naidu’s allegation about large-scale deletion of names from the rolls in Andhra
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