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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: I&B ministry asks Prasar Bharati to follow poll code

This comes after the Election Commission (EC) wrote to the ministry on Tuesday about airtime coverage given to various political parties being “disproportionate and not balanced”.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 11, 2019 09:24 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
lok sabha elections 2019,doordarshan,DD
After complaints from Opposition parties that DD News had shown bias while broadcasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Main Bhi Chowkidar programme, the poll panel issued a notice to the channel.(File Photo )

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) asked public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Wednesday to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) to ensure “balanced coverage” for all recognised parties.

This comes after the Election Commission (EC) wrote to the ministry on Tuesday about airtime coverage given to various political parties being “disproportionate and not balanced”.

All India Radio and Doordarshan (DD) are the broadcast platforms of Prasar Bharati. According to a person aware of the developments, MIB secretary Amit Khare asked Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Shashi Shekhar Vempanti to ensure that the MCC rules are followed by AIR and DD general services.

The poll panel said this was to ensure that the principle of neutrality and a level playing field, especially in light of the provisions of the MCC, is maintained.

After complaints from Opposition parties that DD News had shown bias while broadcasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Main Bhi Chowkidar programme — where he interacted with people across the country via video conference from New Delhi — for nearly an hour on April 1, the poll panel issued a notice to the channel. Based on a report submitted by DD News on April 5, the poll panel concluded that the coverage was not in accordance with the MCC that says the “misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity news and publicity regarding achievement with a view of furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided.”

First Published: Apr 11, 2019 09:24 IST