The Election Commission (EC) has asked State Chief Election Commissioners (CEC) to ensure that no pre-recorded content be streamed on NaMo TV, sponsored by the BJP, 48 hours before the polling date. However, live coverage can be done on the TV. The CEC have been informed to observe the directions strictly. NaMo TV cannot display 'election matter' during the silence period prescribed in the electoral law in a particular phase of the poll, the Election Commission has concluded.
The directions were also issued to the Delhi CEO as he is the nodal officer to pre-certify political content in TV channels and similar platforms which are beamed nationally.
He has also been provided with a committee specifically for the purpose, a source aware of the development said.Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act "prohibits" display of any "election matter" by means of "cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus", 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a particular constituency.This phase is called the 'silence period' as it allows a voter to make up his or her mind on whom to vote without being influenced by political campaigning.
Section 126 is not applicable on the print media.The direction, sources said, was issued to bring clarity on the applicability of 'silence period' on NaMo TV. On Thursday last week, the EC had concluded that since NaMo TV is sponsored by the BJP, all recorded programmes displayed on the platform should be pre-certified by media certification and monitoring committee of Delhi and all political publicity contents being displayed without pre-certification should be removed immediately.