The Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab on Tuesday said his office would scrutinise political advertisements on television channels, private FM channels besides keeping a tab on audio-visual displays at public places and cinema halls in the poll-bound state. The Election Commission has widened the area of certification by including cinema halls besides TV channels, cable networks, radio including FM channels, audio-visual displays of political advertisement in public place, according to the CEO’s official spokesperson.
Media certification and monitoring committees headed by additional CEO and an appellate committee headed by CEO and district level committees headed by deputy commissioners would scrutinise political advertisements, the official said.
Audio-visual displays of political advertisement/campaign material in public places should require certification under the existing orders of the EC to be done by the designated committee.
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He said the use of bulk SMS/voice messages in political campaigning should also require certification under the existing orders of the Commission to be done by the designated committees.
The Commission has issued detailed guidelines on social media on October 25, 2013, which mentions about furnishing details of social media accounts by the candidates during filing of nominations.
The Commission also brought the political advertisements to be issued on social media sites under the purview of pre-certification.
It further instructed that candidates and political parties shall include all spendings on campaigning, including expenditure on advertisements on social media, both for maintaining a correct account of expenditure and for submitting the statement of the expenses, he said.
The Commission although made it clear that any political content in the form of message, comment, photo or video posted or uploaded on the blogs or self-accounts on websites or social media will not be treated as political advertisements and would not require pre-certification, he said.
However, advertisements issued in e-paper shall invariably require pre-certification by the committee concerned, he added.