Bengal, Assam polls: EC bars ads by parties without pre-certification

Kolkata, April 2 (IANS) The Election Commission on Saturday barred political parties and candidates in West Bengal and Assam from giving any print media advertisement on April 3 and April 4 for the first phase of the assembly polls, without pre-certification.

In a statement, the poll watchdog said instances of advertisements of “offending and misleading nature” published in the print media have been brought to the notice of the commission in the past.

“Such advertisements, in the last stage of the election, vitiates the election. The affected candidates and parties will not have opportunity of providing clarification/rebuttal in such cases.”

To prevent repetition of such instances and ensure “no untoward incident takes place because of any inflammatory, misleading or hate advertisements,” the commission issued a notice directing “no political party, candidate or any other organisation or person shall publish any advertisement in the print media on April 3 and April 4, in connection with the first phase in Bengal and Assam.”

“… unless the contents of the advertisements proposed to be published are pre-certified by political parties, candidates etc. from MCMC (Media certification and Monitoring Committee) at the state and district level as may be the case.”

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