Following a notification issued for the parliamentary elections in the Dharwad Lok Sabha constituency, the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee has set up a panel to check misuse of media for political gains.
Information Department Senior Assistant Director Manjunath Dollin held a meeting of teams formed by the committee and asked them to keep close vigil on advertisements on electronic channels, published in newspapers and social networking sites.
He said that the model code of conduct is in force and there should not be any violation. There are chances of candidates publishing or broadcasting paid news in the print media and in the electronic media. Thereby, the panellists should keep a watch on the electronic channels and also go through newspapers every day. Even local cable TV operators should know their responsibilities and seek permission from the panel before broadcasting any political advertisement, he added.
The panel consists of 20 members and it will go through newspapers and watch electronic media till polling is completed. Every programme related to political developments broadcast in the electronic media should be reviewed and if there is any violation or paid news is reported, it should be immediately brought to the notice of the higher officials. It is mandatory for newspapers and electronic channels to obtain permission to publish political advertisements four days before the polling date. Even, social networking sites should follow the guidelines of the Election Commission of India failing which poll code violation cases will be registered against such channels, he added.
Mr. Dollin said that the local cable TV operators have to check whether candidates or political parties have taken permission from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee to broadcast any advertisement.
If they violate this rule, the District Election Officer has the power to seal the cable operator room and seize all equipment before filing cases, he said.