Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission (MP SEC) will keep a close watch on paid news during the ongoing three-tier panchayat and local body polls in the state.
To ensure fair elections, the polls body had decided to constitute district-wise Media Certification and Monitoring Committees (MCMCs) under the supervision of district election officers.
The MP-SEC has issued a circular directing the district collectors and the election officers to keep a close watch on media reports. The commission has been tasked to monitor daily news and submit the report to the SEC.
"District election officers will regularly send information about the cases being received daily related to paid news in the districts and the decision taken by the MCMC on them in the prescribed format to the State Election Commission," Secretary of MP-SEC Rakesh Singh said.
"The chairman of the state-level MCMC will be secretary of the State Election Commission and member secretary will be additional/joint director Public Relations. The committee will comprise of an observer appointed by the State Election Commission for the general election, unbiased eminent citizen nominated by the State Election Commission, unbiased senior journalist nominated by the State Election Commission, an expert member co-opted by the committee," SEC's notification read.
Similarly, the district level MCMC's chairman will be the collector or the additional collector/chief executive officer of the district panchayat nominated by him. The member secretary will be the district public relations officer.
In the committee, the assistant returning officer of the urban body of the district headquarters, an impartial, distinguished citizen nominated by the collector (not affiliated with any political party) and an impartial senior journalist nominated by the collector will be the members.
As per the official statement, if any political party or candidate wants to publish/broadcast any advertisement on print or electronic media (TV, cable network, cinema hall, radio) then he/she will have to apply in the prescribed form. Only the advertisement approved/as amended by the committee can be published and broadcast.