Political parties seeks free air time in private media

The Chief Election Commissioner, Shri O.P. Rawat chairing a meeting of all National & State recognised Political Parties to discuss issues related to Electoral Process, in New Delhi on August 27, 2018. The Election Commissioners, Shri Sunil Arora and Shri Ashok Lavasa and other dignitaries are also seen.

All political parties asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) that on the lines of Doordarshan and AIR, the free airtime to political parties should be provided on private media for electoral campaigns. They also expressed concern on paid news and suggested to make it an electoral offence to curb this menace.

These suggestions surfaced when ECI, comprising Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat, Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, held in depth interactive session with all the recognised national and state political parties on a broad range of issues concerning various aspects pertaining to Elections.  Altogether all 7 National parties and 34 State parties attended the meeting yesterday.

They too urged the Commission to link Aadhar numbers with electors’ detail for better electoral roll management and suggested for a ceiling on expenditure limit for council elections, as suggested by the Commission.

They welcomed the discussion on taking the steps for enhancing the role of women in the Electoral process. For no campaign period, they suggested for more measures in view of current electronic and digital environment.

In his opening remarks O P Rawat said the Commission always values the inputs from Political Parties in making our Election process robust, fair and credible. He mentioned about the challenges faced by all the democracies globally in view of the new media and advancements in information technology.

He said the Commission is taking initiatives to prevent such interference. The Commission sought suggestions and support of political parties to comprehensively meet these and other challenges for ensuring free and fair elections.

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