EC pulls five campaign videos of AIADMK off air, says they violate poll rules

In a major setback to the ruling AIADMK party, the Election Commission (EC) on April 15 banned the telecast of two of its Lok Sabha campaign advertisements targeting the DMK. The EC so far has pulled five of AIADMK’s poll advertisements off air, citing that they were based on unverified allegations or distortions.

The first video to be taken off air was ‘Oru Kudumba Aatchi’ that was telecasted on April 15. The commission banned another campaign video that targeted the DMK, later in the evening.

Earlier on April 14, EC banned three campaign videos of the AIADMK stating that they violated the model code of conduct.

The campaign advertisement video allegedly made references to the DMK calling them as corrupt. DMK organising secretary RS Bharathi lodged a complaint with the EC in this regard, based on which officials took action and banned the videos.

EC also banned a campaign advertisement video on farmer’s plight that was allegedly telecasted by the Congress party. The commission in its letter said that the statements made in the video were based on unverified allegations or on distortions.

Besides banning the campaign videos, chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo also warned political parties of taking disciplinary action as per the Cable Television Network Rules 1994, if the advertisements violated the norms. He also insisted that advertisements aired on cable TV conform to the laws of the country and morality, decency and religious susceptibilities of the subscribers.

The EC in its communication to the electronic media houses said if any of the political advertisement is continuously telecasted through electronic social or print media, the matter would be brought to the notice of the commission and appropriate action will be initiated as per the law. It has also asked the television media to carry advertisements that have got prior approvals from the State level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.