The Election Commission on Wednesday said that paid news was a very “complex problem” and it had taken the issue seriously to ensure a level-playing field to all political parties and candidates in the elections to the Legislative Assembly on May 5.

Addressing a media workshop on electoral process here, Director-General at the Election Commission, Akshay Rout, said: “Paid news is a complex issue and it had disturbed the political arena. Paid news gives a candidate an undue advantage over his poll rivals and also violated the Right to Information Act. But there is no clinching evidence to take action against paid news.”

Noting that the “print and electronic media are eyes and ears on the ground” to the commission, Mr. Rout said: “We will take suo motu complaint based on media reports on violation of model of code of conduct during the election process.”

Unaccounted money was being spent through paid news and it was not a healthy trend for political parties, governments, and the economy, he said.