The Chief Electoral Officer of the Union Territory of Puducherry T. Sreekanth on Monday said the Election Commission had identified 7 States and Union Territories, including Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, as expenditure-sensitive areas for the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking on the sidelines of media workshop on preventing paid news and media certification and monitoring conducted by the Department of Elections here, he said Andhra Pradesh, Maharasthra, Punjab and Chandigarh had also figured in the expenditure sensitive list.

The areas had been identified based on money flow and seizure of unaccounted money in the earlier elections. This means that the areas would be intensively monitored by Expenditure Observers.

The EC felt that the impact of money flow in Tamil Nadu might be felt in Puducherry also. Units of Central Armed Military Force (CAMF) would be deployed to monitor transportation of unaccounted money and distribution.

Pointing out the incidents of paid news reported in the past, he said both print and electronic media should not give room for paid news. All newspapers and cable televisions would be under scrutiny of the high level committee.

If anyone carried paid news article, or paid news footage, the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee would serve notice on it. P. Parthiban, Sub-Collector, said the Press Council of India had made it clear that any news or analysis appearing in any media (print & electronic) for cash or kind would be treated as paid news.

It had also said that newspapers were not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate, party or incident during the elections.

R. Sridhar, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, said cable television would be closed watched by the committee from the moment of announcement of elections. They should not carry political advertisements without the permission of the committee.

K.T. Alagiri, Director, Information & Publicity and others spoke.