Electoral Officers asked to monitor, investigate paid news

March 3rd, 2011 - 9:19 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Mar 3 (ANI): After the announcement dates for the assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal and Puducherry, the Election Commission has asked the Chief Electoral Officers to issue instructions the District Election Officers (DEOs) to immediately constitute district-level committees to monitor and investigate paid news.

The Election Commission has asked the Chief Electoral Officers to monitor and ensure that no advertisement is issued in the electronic/print medium, which underscores the government’s accomplishments at the cost of the public exchequer during the election phase.

It also asked the DEOs to closely monitor advertisements in the print medium in any form and serve notice to candidates or parties so that such expenses are included in the election expenditure account.

The committees have also been asked to keep a watch on election news/features on the TV/cable TV channels and radio.

The EC has asked the Centre/State Governments not to release Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) funds in areas, where elections are in progress.

Earlier, the Election Commission directed the Tamil Nadu’s District Collectors and Revenue Department to immediately halt the free distribution of colour television sets

The distribution of free colour television sets was one of the freebies offered by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in its 2006 election manifesto.

The Tamil Nadu Government had procured over 1.5 million TV sets at a cost of Rs 3,500 crores, to distribute one set for every ration card holder, regardless of the income parameters of the ration card holders. The Election Commission on Tuesday announced the dates for elections in the five States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry

With parts of the state affected by Maoists activities, West Bengal will have elections in six phases on April 18, 23, 27, May 3, 7 and 10, in perhaps the longest ever in the state, also known for political violence.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will go to polls on April 13, Assam’s two-phased poll is scheduled on April four and 11.

Counting of votes in all the five states will take place on May 13.

While West Bengal has 294 assembly constituencies, Tamil Nadu has 234, Kerala 140, Puducherry 30 and Assam 126.

Polling will be held with the help of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMS). (ANI)

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