Special Correspondent

UP panel will vet them first

  • They will also have to submit written transcripts of the ads
  • Fresh appointments, announcement of new schemes banned

    LUCKNOW: The Election Commission of India has barred airing of advertisements sponsored by political parties, groups and individuals on TV channels and cable network till they are vetted by a State-level committee constituted under the Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh. Separate panels would be constituted at the district level for vetting the ads. These would be headed by the district magistrates or any official designated by the DMs.

    The Commission's orders would remain effective till the completion of the Assembly poll process. The orders have been issued in compliance with Supreme Court directives.

    Briefing newspersons, Chief Electoral Officer Anuj Kumar Bishnoi said parties, groups or individuals would also have to submit written transcripts of the advertisements.

    He said the committee would ensure that there was no objectionable material liable to promote disharmony before clearing the ads.

    Mr. Bishnoi added that the financial aspect of the ads does not come under the purview of the EC directives as the focus is entirely on the content of the material.

    He said the poll panel's directives would also apply to the political ads currently being aired on TV channels and cable networks.

    They would be aired only after they have been scrutinised by the committees, the CEO said.

    Mr. Bishnoi said the order pertaining to the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct had been conveyed to the State Government, adding that fresh appointments and announcement of new schemes and projects had been banned.

    The CEO said the model code also prohibits rampant use of official vehicles by Ministers. He said they would be allowed to use official vehicles only from their residence to office and back.

    Around 10,000 new polling boots are being added for the upcoming Assembly elections, bringing the total to around 1.12 lakh.

    PTI adds

    Indore: Photo-identity cards will be made compulsory for voting in the seven-phase Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said on Thursday.

    ``As far as possible, identity cards will be made mandatory for voting. At present, over 75 per cent of voters have identity cards and efforts will be made to ensure that at least 90-95 per cent of voters will have it before the polls,'' he told reporters here after chairing a meeting of the Delimitation Commission's public hearing.