EC bars ads without pre-certification for Bengal third phase

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Kolkata, April 19 (IANS) The Election Commission on Tuesday barred political parties and candidates in West Bengal from giving any print media advertisement without pre-certification on April 20-21 in connection with the third phase of the assembly polls to be held on April 21.

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 vitiate 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 to ensure “no untoward incident takes place because of any inflammatory, misleading or hate advertisements”, the EC issued a notice saying: “No political party, candidate or any other organisation or person shall publish any advertisement in the print media on April 20 and April 21, in connection with the third phase in the state.”

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“… unless the contents of the advertisements proposed to be published are pre-certified by political parties, candidates etc. from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) at the state/ district level as the case may be,” these advertisements would not be carried, it said.

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